published Saturday, August 27th, 2011

Atlanta schools hand over documents

  • photo
    Students at Emma Hutchinson School in Atlanta leave after the day's classes in this file photo. Hutchinson has been identified as one of 44 schools involved in a test cheating scandal. Investigators said nearly half the city’s schools allowed cheating to go unchecked for as long as a decade, beginning in 2001. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

ATLANTA — Atlanta Public Schools officials turned over volumes of records to the Fulton County grand jury Friday in response to a subpoena that’s part of a criminal investigation into test tampering.

The district handed over 95 volumes of DVDs, CDs and cassette tapes as part of the request, said Atlanta Public Schools spokesman Keith Bromery.

The district also asked for three more weeks to fulfill the rest of the grand jury’s sweeping request, he said in the statement. Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard has signaled that he will support the request for more time, Bromery said.

The grand jury subpoena sought information dating back to 1999 regarding teacher transfers and demotions, bonuses paid to employees for improved test scores and other copies of complaints related to the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests. It also sought the “oaths of office” taken by Beverly Hall, the superintendent when the scandal took place.

The investigation comes after a state report in July revealed allegations of cheating in nearly half of the district’s 100 schools. It also found that 178 educators were linked to cheating on the tests, and it accused administrators of destroying or altering complaints about misconduct and trying to block the investigation.

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