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Investigator fires back at APS report

Investigator fires back at APS report

ATLANTA -- An attorney is firing back at claims her investigation into cheating at one Atlanta school was "watered down" and changed over and over to meet the demands of top district brass.

Two years before the state report on cheating in Atlanta schools came out, Penn Payne was hired by Atlanta Public Schools to investigate Deerwood Academy for testing irregularities.

COMPLETE COVERAGE: Atlanta Public Schools CRCT Investigation
RELATED: Read the Complete Report from the Governor's Special Investigators

The question now is was her report doctored and by whom?

An erasure analysis found a high number of wrong-to-right changes on the school's CRCT exams -- nearly one in every two classrooms.

Dozens of educators step down amid cheating scandal

Dozens of educators step down amid cheating scandal

ATLANTA -- Interim Superintent Erroll Davis says the number of teachers and principals who have either resigned or retired in the wake of the CRCT cheating scandal is higher than previously thought.

"The number we are dealing with now is down to 130s, 140s," Davis told parents during a townhall meeting at Garden Hills Elementary in Buckhead Thursday night.

He had given the 178 teachers, principals and staff implicated in the state's cheating investigation until 5 p.m. Wednesday to resign or face termination.

COMPLETE COVERAGE: CRCT Cheating Investigation

Elite Teach For America thrust into APS scandal

Elite Teach For America thrust into APS scandal

ATLANTA -- Teach For America teachers are recruited from the best Ivy League, private and state schools in the nation. They forego well-paying jobs to spend two years working in some of the country's most challenging school districts.

Even their ranks were not immune from the worst school cheating scandal in U.S. history.

Three Teach For America educators in Atlanta schools have confessed to cheating to state investigators and more were implicated.

"A handful of our teachers did confess to cheating and there are no excuses for that. It's completely unacceptable," said Metro Atlanta Teach For America Executive Director Kwame Griffith.

Teach For America's ties to district leadership run deep, and some of its most ardent supporters fared the worst in the report.

Quotes from embattled Superintendent Beverly Hall, who brought Teach for America to the city, still adorn the program's website.

Teachers' attorney: Atlanta test cheating report inaccurate, falsely accuses the innocent

Teachers' attorney: Atlanta test cheating report inaccurate, falsely accuses the innocent

TUCKER, Ga. -- A backlash is brewing against the test-cheating report implicating 178 Atlanta Public Schools teachers, principals and superintendents in a long-running scheme to correct their students' incorrect answers on standardized tests in order to make the schools look good.

The Director of Legal Services for the Georgia Association of Educators, Mike McGonigle, is investigating that investigation.

COMPLETE COVERAGE: CRCT Cheating Investigation

He told 11Alive's Jon Shirek, during an interview Wednesday at GAE's headquarters in Tucker, that he's already discovering errors and omissions in the report.

Publix school supply drive to assist APS students

Publix school supply drive to assist APS students

ATLANTA -- Parents and teachers know that having the right school supplies can mean the difference between a passing or a failing grade for students.

That's why Publix has teamed up with the United Way and several local partners to host the School Tools for Cool Kids program.

Residents can stop by their neighborhood Publix grocery stores from Monday, July 18 until Sunday, Aug. 14 to purchase and/or drop off school supplies in the School Tools bins.

"We encourage customers to donate school supplies to help . . . children begin the school year on a level playing field," said Brenda Reid, media and community relations manager for Publix.

MARIETTA: New Cobb superintendent weighs in on APS

MARIETTA: New Cobb superintendent weighs in on APS

MARIETTA, Ga. -- Dr. Michael Hinojosa, the new superintendent of the Cobb County School District, said other systems can learn from the Atlanta CRCT cheating scandal.

COMPLETE COVERAGE: APS CRCT Investigation

"Sometimes testing is overblown," Dr. Hinojosa said following his swearing-in ceremony Monday morning. "You need to make sure people are focused on the right thing. That's student learning, not some number."

Dr. Hinojosa did not address the scandal during his first official speech to school leaders and employees.

But he did tell school board members, "I promise you I will not let you down."

He took the job after serving as head of the Dallas Independent School District in Texas for six years.

11Alive's Jennifer Leslie asked Dr. Hinojosa about the APS cheating investigation right after his swearing-in ceremony.

APS: Who's Really At Fault?

APS: Who's Really At Fault?

First off, let me say that I am THOROUGHLY impressed with 11Alive's coverage and breakdown of the APS investigation report. If you were not able to catch their school-by-school review, you can view the video here. WARNING: It's startling, it's disappointing and scary to think that these accounts render a "mafia-like" mentality. How can people we've held in such high regard, and entrusted the educational careers of our children in, do such things? Good question... but here's an even better one... "Who's REALLY At Fault?"