GBI hands over report, plan revealed to deal with teacher losses - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

GBI hands over report, plan revealed to deal with teacher losses

After repeatedly denying cheating took place on the 2009 CRCT's, Dougherty County School leaders now acknowledge administrators and teachers may lose their jobs because of cheating.

Superintendent Dr. Joshua Murfree developed a plan, what he calls a "Proactive Stance for Achievement", to deal with the fallout.

The school system won't speculate how many employees could be named in the report investigators expect to present to Governor Nathan Deal in December.

Investigators say they now have the GBI's report in hand as they continue to ask for evidence in their investigation. In fact they've asked for the schools systems help in setting up two more groups of interviews starting next week.

Over the next two days, state investigators will work with the Dougherty County School System to set up interviews with additional personnel over the possibility of test tampering during the 2009 CRCT's.

"The Superintendent had agreed that we would try to schedule these interviews and that's what that is, we're just coordinating them," said Tommy Coleman, DCSS Attorney.

The interviews come as investigators request more information from the school system. Today School Board Attorney Tommy Coleman said the information would be handed over without a subpoena, but wouldn't elaborate.

"Yes they have, but I'm not going to tell you what it is," said Coleman.

This week, Superintendent Dr. Joshua Murfree revealed a plan to the school board on how the system might deal with losing teachers or principals. He said he's planning for job announcements, checking the available teacher pool, considering interim positions for administrators if needed, and how they might alert students, teacher, administrators and the community about the investigations findings. He also is working on how the system might move forward. Murfree says the system won't admit guilt for anyone without evidence. The reality is the school system will have to pay those caught up in the investigation while they might be in the process of terminating them.

"It's extraordinarily expensive because not only do you have the teacher sitting in the rubber room, because they haven't had a hearing yet, but you're also paying the teacher's replacement," said Coleman.

Not to mention what it might cost for consultants on a tribunal board, they can command a salary of $300 a day. It will ultimately be up to the school board to decide who stays and who goes, who gets suspended and who doesn't.

Thursday the Professional Standards Commission is expected to hand down the first formal punishments in the Atlanta Public School System's CRCT investigation. They'll decide the fate of dozens of educators in hearings that will run through January.

The commission can issue a range of punishments, from a warning to a certificate revocation. That punishment is separate from possible criminal charges and efforts by the Atlanta system to fire teachers.

Copyright 2011 WALB.  All rights reserved.   

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