Q: I have followed the Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal with great interest. I am amazed at the apparent lack of concern in the community about these charges and how they reflect on the public school system in Atlanta. Can you tell me whether Tamara Cotman is still on the APS payroll? — Ken Holley, Peachtree City
A: Cotman, a former APS regional director who was acquitted last week on a charge of trying to influence a witness, is no longer on the school system’s payroll. Superintendent Erroll Davis testified in court last week that Cotman’s employment ended when her last annual contract expired, which was June 30, 2012, according to her personnel file. Davis said he suspended Cotman with pay when he sent a charge letter to her July 11, 2011. It notified Cotman of the system’s intent to terminate her employment because of allegations of cheating on standardized tests. Cotman was one of 35 former APS educators indicted on charges related to allegations that they corrected students’ answers on standardized tests.
Q: What is the difference between a regular flu shot and the over-65 Fluzone high dose? — Carol Murphy, Woodstock
A: The Fluzone High-Dose Seasonal Influenza Vaccine is designed specifically for people who are 65 years and older because “a higher dose of antigen in the vaccine is supposed to give older people a better immune response, and therefore, better protection against flu,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. An antigen is the part of the vaccine that “prompts the body to make (the) antibody.”
Andy Johnston wrote this column; staff writer Mark Niesse contributed. Do you have a question about the news? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2002 or email firstname.lastname@example.org (include name, phone and city).