“Today is a dark day for the Atlanta Public School system. The State of Georgia’s investigation into allegations of widespread cheating on the CRCT test confirms our worst fears. There is no doubt that systemic cheating occurred on a widespread basis in the school system.
Further, there is no question that a complete failure of leadership in the Atlanta Public School system hurt thousands of children who were promoted to the next grade without meeting basic academic standards.
I am grateful to former Governor Sonny Perdue and Governor Nathan Deal for their leadership on this issue and for bringing the grave problems facing the Atlanta Public School system to light. The investigators followed the facts, regardless of where they led. I would also like to commend Atlanta’s press corps, especially The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, for its service to the public by providing comprehensive, investigative reporting on the test score discrepancies.
I am confident that Interim Superintendent Errol Davis, former Chancellor of the University System of Georgia, and Board of Education Chairwoman Brenda Muhammad and Vice-Chairman Reuben McDaniel will take decisive action and lead the system in a manner that resolves the problems uncovered in the investigation and work to ensure that this never happens again.
The Atlanta Public School system can and will recover from this painful chapter in its history. The system has the support of teachers and educators who are principled and committed to serving the city’s students. The system has the support of thousands of parents who are deeply invested in what happens in the classroom and the academic achievement of their children. And Superintendent Davis, Chairwoman Muhammad and Vice-Chairman McDaniel have my full support and that of the entire City of Atlanta as they begin to move the school district forward.”