Georgia Press Association

The Atlanta Public Schools (“APS”) cheating arose primarily because the school leadership. There was little oversight by the Atlanta Board of Education, and the Atlanta business community was delighted that APS test scores continued to rise each year with no questions asked. The scandal was uncovered by the diligence of Ms. Kathleen Mathers, director of the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement. She reported to Governor Sonny Perdue that the erasure rates noted for APS on the 2009 APS Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests were highly suspicious. Governor Perdue ordered an investigation headed by former DeKalb County District Attorney Robert E. Wilson, Investigator Richard L. Hyde, and myself. They were aided by 50 Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents. Over 2,000 educator interviews were conducted. We identified 178 educators as being involved in cheating. Of these, 82 confessed and 38 of the 178 educators were principals from two-thirds of the schools we examined. Criminal trials were conducted in the Superior Court of Fulton County and several educators were convicted of crimes related to the cheating.