Not good news for the Atlanta School System.
The committee’s release on Tuesday will be a watershed for the Atlanta system and its acclaimed superintendent, Beverly Hall. Hall will either respond to the report in a way that engenders confidence in the system or that provides more ammunition to critics who want new management.
The school system continues to win national awards — as does Hall — for closing an academic gap that appeared unbridgeable when Hall took over in 1999. But the cheating investigation comes at a time when APS is undergoing increasing scrutiny for some of those gains, as well as for its financial management.
State monitors watched over schools caught up in the investigation. Scores on the state’s Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests went down this year, according to preliminary data. Meanwhile, the AJC reported this month that the system’s central office payroll, on a per-student basis, is more than twice the metro average and that, again on a per-student basis, the district spends more money on employee travel that other metro systems.
Price said Thursday that there is no evidence “at this point” that anyone in the system’s central office had a direct role in cheating on tests. But he made clear that the panel expects action, starting with the individuals caught in the probe and continuing throughout the city school system.