No Dougherty County educator named in the CRCT cheating report here has been charged, but the criminal investigation is still open. District Attorney Greg Edwards says it's ongoing, but is very different from the situation in Atlanta.
Dougherty District Attorney Greg Edwards is keeping up with the indictments of educators in Atlanta. But he says the CRCT cheating investigation there and the one in Dougherty County are very different.
"The whole process in Atlanta seemed to be organized from the top down," said Edwards. "It was much more organized. There was apparently a profit motive because the teachers and administrators got some financial incentives to make the scores appear to be better. We don't have any of that in our scenarios here. Most of the acts were independent acts of individuals and we'll be looking at each individual for both culpability criminally and whether or not something satisfactory has been done by the professional standards."
The criminal investigation into the nearly 50 Dougherty County educators named in the cheating scandal is still open and because of that Edwards says he can't discuss the details.
"Our criminal investigation is still open," said Edwards. "However, most of the cases that have been resolved by administrative processes involve those individuals that we're looking at a criminal prosecution, they've been addressed pretty much by the administrative process. But we are still holding the criminal investigation open in Dougherty County."
There is no criminal statute that defines cheating by a teacher, which is why Edwards relies on the Professional Standards Commission and the school system to pursue the necessary punishments on the administrative side.
"The standard for proving a crime is much higher than proving an administrative violation. In proving a crime, which if I'm charging somebody I must prove a crime beyond a reasonable doubt."
The Dougherty County school system is expecting the Professional Standards Commission to revoke or suspend licenses for a number of educators, which Edwards will take into consideration.
The Dougherty County school system already held a number of tribunal hearings. Several teachers were found guilty of minor violations and were suspended.