Whatley takes responsibility if there's cheating on CRCT's - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Whatley takes responsibility if there's cheating on CRCT's

Former Dougherty County Schools Superintendent Dr. Sally Whatley says if there was cheating on 2009 Criterion Referenced Competency Tests, she bears the ultimate responsibility. Whatley sat down with us, just a day after meeting for three hours with investigators.

She told us she's certain there was not widespread cheating in Dougherty County Schools, but for the first time admitted there could have been isolated cases.

Investigators say they've gotten some confessions about cheating in Dougherty County. Dr. Whatley doesn't believe statistical data alone prove cheating. She knows investigators are looking for collateral information to see if and where it occurred.

It's been more than a year since Dr. Sally Whatley retired as Superintendent of the Dougherty County Schools. Monday she was questioned by state investigations about how the school system handled the 2009 CRCT's.

"They asked me about the data, how we gathered it. Obviously they felt much more needed to be done," said Dr. Sally Whatley former Dougherty County Schools Superintendent.

Before the state ordered an investigation, the local school system conducted its own inquiry. Whatley says they found no pattern of cheating.

"Looking at the data we observed, we were not able to find collateral additional information that proved somebody cheated," said Whatley.

We questioned why just some teachers and principals were questioned back then, not the entire system.

"Had I known that then we would have done it. I mean I tried everything humanly possible to get this competed before I retired June 30th of 2010," said Whatley.

Administrators have often said they don't believe there was widespread cheating, but today we asked if they believe there was cheating in isolated classrooms, classrooms where their data can't be explained.

"Could there be isolated cases absolutely, but do I believe there was widespread cheating we there conspiracies to cheat in schools, no I do not," said Whatley.

Whatley pointed out that in 13 schools in the severe to moderate concern categories for possible cheating, CRCT scores actually dropped in 2009. Investigators are quick to point out scores dropped again when monitors were watching during the 2010 tests.

Investigators still say Dougherty County's investigation didn't go far enough, which is why they're here now, questioning school staff to find out if there was any cheating, widespread or not in Dougherty County.

Whatley also pointed out 63% of the system's flagged classrooms were in first and second grade, they never got to see those tests and say children that age erase more.

  • If you'd like to see a copy of their 2009 CRCT Audit Analysis click this link.

Whatley Tuesday said it would be wonderful if investigators didn't find anything. If that's the case, she'd like an apology for the system from state investigators and the Governor.

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