He, John Dewberry, lost.
Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. She had just received the latest crop of scores for the CRCT, a state standardized test. Curiously, Vogell noted, several schools statewide had changed in status between the spring administration of the test and the summer retest ingoing from not meeting Adequate Yearly Progress rates, a calculation set by federal legislation that determines the fates of individual schools, to meeting the measure.
It was a larger shift," Vogell told The Huffington Post. Like any intrepid reporter, she had some questions. We saw some schools that had very hard to believe gains, just looking with the naked eye," she said. After performing a statistical analysis with her data guru, computer-assisted reporting specialist John Perry, she found something curious: She published her first story in Decemberhighlighting schools where the gains seemed astronomical.
And the story resonated beyond Atlanta: Moreover, it came at a time when the federal government and statehouses stress an incentive-based system to improve teaching at failing schools.
Fifteen states now have in place or are working to implement teacher evaluations that count standardized test scores. The curious thing, Vogell recalls, is that her story was about school districts throughout the state of Georgia, but all the teachers that called were from Atlanta.
At first, she assumed it was just because her newspaper based there. That summer, her team wrote a few more stories.
When the test scores came out, the data crew ran another analysis. By then, the state had gotten involved. The new analysis showed that the alleged cheating in Atlanta specifically had become more widespread. Of those, 12 were in Atlanta. He submitted his results on May 11, Sonny Perdue was fed up.
In Augusthe announced the appointment of a special investigator to look into the cheating scandal, calling local efforts "woefully inadequate both in scope and depth. The gains on state exams appear to be tampered with, but Atlanta also posted gains on the National Assessment of Education Progress exam, a national test widely considered to be cheat-proof.
The report paints a vivid picture of a culture where teachers were publicly humiliated or fired for underperformance, and whistleblowers faced more consternation than cheaters. After he raised the issue of inflated scores at a May meeting, an education official confronted him -- and he was soon told his services were no longer needed.I am a reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution covering DeKalb County government.
I write about corruption, the metro Atlanta cityhood movement, business growth, . J. Scott Trubey covers economic development and commercial real estate for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He’s previously covered banking, airlines, hospitality and tourism, crime and government at newspapers in Atlanta and Augusta, Ga.
Urvaksh Karkaria, Atlanta Business Chronicle – A staff writer for The Atlanta Business Chronicle, Urvaksh covers Atlanta’s booming technology industry in print and on his blog, TechFlash. Follow Urvaksh on Twitter at @Urvaksh. Ben Gray is a multimedia photojournalist at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution who specializes in breaking news coverage.
A photojournalist for more than 20 years, he joined the AJC in A photojournalist for more than 20 years, he joined the AJC in Reporter at Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Location Staff Writer at Atlanta Business Chronicle. Arielle Kass. Reporter at Atlanta benjaminpohle.com: Reporter at Atlanta Journal .
Chris Roush. Chris Roush is the Walter E. Hussman Sr. Distinguished Professor in business journalism at UNC-Chapel Hill. He is a former business journalist for Bloomberg News, Businessweek, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Tampa Tribune and the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.