Area director Tamara Cotman rebuffed a teacher who reported she’d been given standardized test answer sheets — and the teacher was out of a job soon afterward, according to testimony Friday in the first trial of a defendant in the Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal.
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How we got the story
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution first investigated improbable improvements on standardized tests in 2008 and then conducted a computer analysis of schools with unusual changes in test scores in 2009. Because of the AJC’s reporting, the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement conducted an erasure analysis on all Criterion-Referenced Competency Test answer sheets statewide. A state investigation in 2011 found that 185 teachers and administrators in Atlanta Public Schools cheated on the CRCT at 44 schools. Nearly two years later, Fulton County prosecutors indicted 35 educators on conspiracy charges. Former area director Tamara Cotman is the first of those 35 educators to face trial.