CRCT Investigation Report: Benjamin S. Carson Preparatory Academy | Schools
Benjamin S. Carson Preparatory Academy
Principal: Flora Goolsby
Testing Coordinator: Nelta Lattimore
SRT-4 Executive Director: Tamara Cotman
ATLANTA -- The Governor's Special Investigators who looked into allegations of CRCT cheating in Atlanta Public Schools could only find statistical evidence of cheating at the former Benjamin S. Carson Preparatory Academy in 2009.
In the report released Tuesday, investigators say Carson only had an eighth grade class in 2009, as the sixth and seventh grade students had moved to BEST Academy. Still, Carson was a "Needs Improvement Year 8" school that year.
Thirty percent of the school's classrooms were flagged for cheating. Teacher Arthur Jones told investigators it was because of "the test-taking strategies he taught," such as informing students to mark "B" or "C" on the answer sheet for remaining questions if they were running out of time. (323)
Jones also expressed his belief that "there is cheating on the CRCT in APS elementary schools, and it is just accepted that the scores are inflated."
Charles Ball, another teacher, said Jones referred to himself as "Top Gun" and "the best math teacher" in the school.
Testing coordinator Nelta Lattimore claimed to be "scared to death" about the possibility that cheating took place. She told investigators that completed tests were placed on a table in a hallway; she then transferred the tests to a cart that she rolled into principal Flora Goolsby's office.
Marilyn Wallace, who worked as Goolsby's secretary, testified that Lattimore didn't bring the tests into the office until 3:30 or 4 in the afternoon, so "if there was cheating on the tests it had to have happened while the tests were in Lattimore's office." (324)
Goolsby was hired to oversee Carson's closing and claimed that the flagged teachers were "among those she 'inherited' when she was assigned to the school." (325)
As Carson is no longer open, investigators do not believe the cheating evidence they uncovered warrants further action.