CRCT Investigation Report: Scott Elementary School | Schools
Scott Elementary School
1752 Hollywood Road
Principal: Roxianne Smith
Testing Coordinator: Dr. Juanessa Booker
SRT-4 Executive Director: Tamara Cotman
ATLANTA -- The investigation into Atlanta Public Schools concluded that CRCT cheating occurred at Scott Elementary School in 2009.
The investigators' findings stated that principal Roxianne Smith kept the CRCT booklets in a locked closet in her office overnight, while testing coordinator Juanessa Booker held them in her office during the day. Letrecia Walker, a paraprofessional, allegedly told another teacher that she went into Booker's office to change answers at Smith's direction.
Witnesses came forward to say that the window in Booker's office door was covered with black paper during the 2009 CRCT. (136)
In February 2010, an anonymous caller reported cheating at Scott Elementary. APS hired attorney Penn Payne to conduct an external investigation into the charges; the lawyer interviewed eight people, including Booker and Smith, who both denied wrongdoing, according to the investigation. Payne concluded that the cheating tips were unsubstantiated in May 2010. (136)
Edwina Monique Browne, a special education teacher at Scott, told investigators that Smith had "a group of 'favorites,'" including Booker and Walker, "who would do anything for her." Browne said she was surprised by how high some of her students scored on the CRCT and said that the cheating came from the "top down." (137)
Several more teachers testified to seeing the black paper on Booker's door and hearing rumors of Booker and Smith changing students' answers on the CRCT.
Teacher's assistant Tonette Hunter served as a proctor during the 2007 CRCT and said that she and the other proctors were told by Smith to "do all they could do to make sure the children pass" the exam. When Hunter protested the idea of cheating, she claimed that Smith told her that her salary may be in jeopardy if she failed to cooperate. (138)
When Hunter complained to a member of former superintendent Dr. Beverly Hall's staff, she said that APS administrators treated her like a "problem employee." She was eventually fired, reportedly for attendance issues, although Hunter believed her termination was related to her failure to participate in the cheating. (139)
Smith denied any wrongdoing and said that the students must have erased their own answers, as they were the ones "who had pencils and erasers" on test day. (139)
Booker also claimed she did not cheat, but the Governor's Special Investigators concluded that she and a math facilitator, Antwan Joseph, erased and changed student answers.
The report also stated that Smith "failed in her responsibility for testing activities and for ensuring the ethical administration of, and proper security for, the 2009 CRCT." (141) Jimmye Hawkins is now interim principal of Scott Elementary, according to the school's website.