Murfree: DCSS won't tolerate cheating, anonymous tips - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Murfree: DCSS won't tolerate cheating, anonymous tips

Superintendent Joshua Murfree will not tolerate cheating in the Dougherty County School System.

Tuesday Murfree encouraged staff to report any cheating by teachers to him first.

Investigators are telling another story. They want any information about the CRCT investigation to come to them.

With tips and confessions already in hand, state investigators begin questioning hundreds of teachers next month.

Investigators expect to question as many as 350 teachers when they arrive August eighth to begin their investigation. They want to emphasize they'll investigate every tip they get whether or not it's anonymous.

Dougherty County School Superintendent Joshua Murfree had some tough words concerning potential cheating on CRCT's back in 2009.

"Cheating is something that will not be tolerated in our school system," said Dr. Joshua Murfree, Dougherty County School System Superintendent.

Murfree went to each school with R.D. Harter and the school systems attorneys.

"...and encouraged the staff to tell me if they had participated in any unethical or illegal behavior pertaining to the CRCT. My door is always open to anyone who has information about cheating, I've asked them to come to me first," said Murfree.

That's not what state investigators want. When we spoke to Mike Bowers, who's heading up the state's investigation, he's asked anyone with information to come directly to investigators who are conducting an independent investigation into the tampering with tests. They say they're not trying to be divisive with Dr. Murfree but they don't want anyone interfering with their investigation. Tuesday Murfree made a strong request of investigators.

"To not accept anonymous calls, letter, emails, or otherwise without holding those calls, letter, or emails or otherwise to the same standards and scrutiny to which they are holding this district.  Have all calls to give their names and numbers as a point of reference," said Murfree.

Bowers told us, investigators have received dozens of anonymous tips and they'll investigate everyone, and continue to accept anonymous tips on their tip line. Investigators have already received several confessions about cheating.

Scores dropped in 2010, when state monitors oversaw the testing.  Dougherty elementary schools were down in 19 of 21 categories.  Dr. Murfree wouldn't answer any of our questions Tuesday, and just walked away at the end of his statements.

If you want to make a tip about cheating or contact the investigative team you can call the tip line at (404)962-3849.

Copyright 2011 WALB.  All rights reserved.   

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