Deal releases findings of Atlanta school probe

ATLANTA — Gov. Nathan Deal today released findings stemming from a state probe of Atlanta Public Schools’ CRCT exams in 2009.

The results show a widespread culture of corruption, and officials acknowledge warning signs of cheating appeared as early as December 2005. However, the warnings were ignored.

“Nothing is more important to the future of our state than ensuring that today’s students receive a first-class education and integrity in testing is a necessary piece of the equation,” Deal said in a statement. “When test results are falsified and students who have not mastered the necessary material are promoted, our students are harmed, parents lose sight of their child’s true progress, and taxpayers are cheated.

“The report’s findings are troubling, but I am encouraged that this investigation will bring closure to the problems that existed in APS and restore the focus on students and the classroom,” Deal added. “As we begin to turn the page on this dark chapter in Atlanta Public Schools, I am confident brighter days lie ahead.”

Cheating was caused by a number of factors but primarily by the pressure “to meet targets in the data-driven environment,” officials said.

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