CRCT Investigation Report: Cook Elementary School | Schools
Cook Elementary School
211 Memorial Drive SE
Principal: LaPaul Shelton
Testing Coordinator: Carla Ross
SRT-3 Executive Director: Dr. Gloria Patterson
ATLANTA -- More than 40 percent of the classrooms at Cook Elementary School were flagged for cheating on the 2009 CRCT, according to the Governor's report released Tuesday.
Investigators determined that two teachers, Deborah Weems and Kwabena Ofusuhene, changed students' answers on the test in 2008 and 2009. They cited fear of losing their jobs if the school did not make Adequate Yearly Progress as their reason for cheating.
Weems claimed that principal LaPaul Shelton was afraid of being placed on a Professional Development Plan, so when he discovered that Cook teachers were cheating, he "covered it up." (119)
Additional teachers claimed that Shelton pulled students with "behavioral problems" and "test anxiety" out of class on test days and testing them in small groups, even when the students didn't have Individualized Education Plans. (121)
Shelton confirmed that he "put pressure on the teachers to meet APS targets" and claimed that he only tested students in small groups when they arrived to school late or were absent during testing. "When confronted with the erasure analysis data, he reluctantly admitted that cheating was one explanation," the report said.
Carla Ross, the school's testing coordinator, did not seem to know of or condone the cheating, but investigators still concluded that she failed to follow testing protocols "and thereby allowed cheating to occur." (124)
Sharyn Briscoe is now principal of Cook Elementary, according to the school's website.