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Wednesday, September 9, 2009 - 11:18am

Cheating Scandal Yields Sanctions

The first sanctions from an investigation into a state test-cheating scandal have been handed-out.

A state ethics committee on Wednesday recommended the suspension of licenses for two former administrators of a Dekalb County school.

Former Atherton Elementary principal James Berry and assistant principal Doretha Alexander would have their licenses suspended for two years, and one year respectively. The sanctions still need approval of the full Georgia Professional Standards Commission when it meets Thursday.

In July the state Board of Education threw-out the 2008 results of 5th-grade math retests from the Dekalb school and three other schools in Glynn County, Fulton County, and the city of Atlanta. A state audit found high numbers of changed answers on the tests, which lifted the schools into compliance with federal No Child Left Behind standards.

Gary Walker with the Standards Commission said the actions of eight more educators from the three other schools are next to be examined.

"The ethics committee will decide today whether to recommend that there be an investigation," Walker said. "I would suspect there would be. And the Commission as a whole will then act on that recommendation of the Educator Ethics Committee tomorrow."

Meanwhile, the two Dekalb County educators also face a criminal felony charge of falsifying a state document.