Judge Has Halted APS Internal Investigation
Temporary restraining order now in place against the Atlanta Public Schools' own investigation of cheating on a 2009 standardized test.
A Fulton County judge has ordered the Atlanta Public Schools to halt its own internal investigation of a standardized test cheating scandal, local media reported Tuesday morning.
According to a report in Tuesday's Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Superior Court Judge Craig Schwall signed a temporary restraining order just before 10 p.m. Sunday. The AJC determined this based on a review of documents filed Monday.
Last week, district officials were questioning witnesses to a Nov. 17th meeting at which SRT 4 area superintendent Tamara Cotman reportedly intimidated principals and urged them not to cooperate with a state investigation of cheating on the 2009 Criterion-Referenced Competency Test (CRCT).
Among other charges, Cotman—who oversees many southwest Atlanta schools (see pdf)—is accused of encouraging principals at the meeting to tell state investigators researching reports of cheating on the test to “go to hell.”
The district reassigned Cotman last Monday. Her lawyer has said Cotman did not break any laws or school system policies.
A second top APS official, Kathy Augustine, the school system's deputy superintendent, last week was accused of hampering the state's investigation of the school district last October. According to an AJC report, in statements issued through a spokesman last Wednesday, Augustine said she has never told employees to refuse to assist investigators.
A WXIA-11 Alive TV and website report on Monday said that, in a statement released Monday, Hall said the district "will honor the court's order, as well as continue to cooperate with the investigation."
For a list of all SRT 4 schools, see the attached pdf.