Even before investigations exposed widespread cheating by Atlanta educators, the school district had looked into allegations against educators who now face criminal charges.
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Of the 35 former Atlanta educators who were indicted, 22 were never previously investigated by Atlanta Public Schools:
Superintendent Beverly Hall
Human Resources Director Millicent Few
Area superintendent Sharon Davis-Williams
Area superintendent Tamara Cotman
Venetian Elementary Principal Clarietta Davis
Gideons Elementary Principal Armstead Salters
Deerwood Academy Assistant Principal Tabeeka Jordan
Parks Middle School testing coordinator Sandra Ward
Gideons Elementary testing coordinator Sheridan Rogers
Usher-Collier Heights testing coordinator Donald Bullock
Benteen Elementary testing coordinator Theresia Copeland
Kennedy Middle School instructional coach Tameka Goodson
Parks Middle School teacher Starlette Mitchell
Parks Middle School teacher Kimberly Oden
Dobbs Elementary teacher Dessa Curb
Dobbs Elementary teacher Derrick Broadwater
Dunbar Elementary teacher Pamela Cleveland
Dunbar Elementary teacher Shani Robinson
Dunbar Elementary teacher Diane Buckner-Webb
Humphries Elementary teacher Lisa Terry
Humphries Elementary teacher Ingrid Abella-Sly
Humphries Elementary teacher Wendy Ahmed
Three educators were investigated only once, but accusations against them weren’t substantiated and no disciplinary action was taken:
Parks Middle School Assistant Principal Gregory Reid was accused of inappropriately touching a teacher in April 2009. Investigators found that the evidence didn’t support the allegation. His attorney, Dorian Murry, didn’t return a phone call seeking comment.
An assistant principal claimed area superintendent Michael Pitts made sexually harassing comments. Investigators concluded that the allegation lacked substance because the accuser had a “vendetta” after her removal from her position. No dates or details of the harassment were provided. “That case was dismissed,” said attorney George Lawson. “Anybody who wants to bring that up, let them try. Judge (Jerry) Baxter would be livid.”
Dobbs Elementary Principal Dana Evans was accused by a teacher of encouraging and pressuring teachers to cheat on the 2008 CRCT, but an investigator concluded there was no evidence to support the claim. Her attorney, Bob Rubin, said the facts presented during trial will show she’s innocent.
How we got the story
Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Mark Niesse, who covers Atlanta Public Schools, pored over more than 3,000 documents in the personnel and investigative files of 35 educators who have been indicted on a variety of charges related to a state investigative report that revealed widespread cheating on standardized tests by APS educators. The AJC’s investigative team began looking at suspicious test scores in APS several years ago. The newspaper continues to follow the story today.