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Latest tab for Dunaire bullying investigation: $389,161

Latest tab for Dunaire bullying investigation: $389,161
September 4, 2009 --

DeKalb County schools have paid attorney Thelma Wyatt Cummings Moore $389,161 to investigate bullying at Dunaire Elementary School. The latest summary of payments, released today, shows the school district paid Moore:

May 12, 2009 — $ 3,423
June 5, 2009 — $166,955
July 13, 2009 — $128,628
Aug. 18, 2009 — $ 90,155

Total — $389,161

Report: Family violence, loved one’s death affected 5th-grader before suicide

August 26, 2009 --

Domestic violence and the death last year of a beloved grandmother may have played a role in the suicide of a DeKalb County fifth-grader, an investigative report released Wednesday says. Retired Fulton County judge Thelma Wyatt Cummings Moore found “no evidence” that school officials were told of alleged bullying of Jaheem Herrera, 11, before he took his life. But the judge suggested Jaheem was affected by domestic violence directed against his mother and by the death six months earlier of the grandmother who raised him.

APS: No ‘concrete’ evidence of cheating on 5th-grade tests at Deerwood

August 21, 2009 --

Atlanta’s public school system has found no “concrete, non-statistical evidence” of cheating on fifth-grade CRCT tests last year at Deerwood Academy. State officials in June said a disproportionate number of erasures suggested Deerwood students’ answers had been changed improperly. But attorney Penn Payne, hired to investigate the case for APS, blamed the discrepancies today on “negligence in record keeping, lack of energy and diligence in following the rules, and supervisory failure.” Read on to download the full report.

Teacher alleges DeKalb denied services, facilities to disabled students

August 7, 2009 --

DeKalb County denied disabled students access to school facilities and services and then fired a teacher who complained about it, the teacher claims in a lawsuit filed this week in federal court. Social studies teacher Gordon Rolle says he was fired from Martin Luther King Jr. High School in Lithonia when he complained about issues involving textbooks, testing for conditions such as autism and access to bathrooms, the media center, counselors and field trips.

State flagged test score improvements at 18 schools

July 14, 2009 --

Eighteen Georgia schools improved fifth-graders’ CRCT scores enough in 2008 to trigger suspicions of cheating, the Augusta Chronicle reports. State officials last week threw out four schools’ scores for apparent cheating and have dropped investigations into two others. The state found 18 schools with statistically remarkable improvements in retest scores. The list includes Slater Elementary […]

DeKalb blog: ‘Decrepit … disgusting’ conditions at Cross Keys HS

DeKalb blog: 'Decrepit ... disgusting' conditions at Cross Keys HS
July 11, 2009 --

Cross Keys High School was scheduled for a complete makeover in SPLOST II, the DeKalb school system’s last cycle of projects funded by local sales taxes. Other projects ran over budget, and Cross Keys was passed by. Now, DeKalb County School Watch has posted a commentary and photo essay on conditions on the campus, including homeless squatters, classrooms and grounds in disrepair, and antiquated equipment. 

ATL schools fight $18 million hit from new TAD bill

ATL schools fight $18 million hit from new TAD bill
March 31, 2009 --

Atlanta Public Schools are fighting changes to a bill that would let Tax Allocation Districts spend school tax money. A state Senate committee last week amended the bill to say a school board that had already approved a TAD would not have to vote on it again. School board chair LaChandra Butler Burks (right) says […]