CRCT Investigation Report: Peyton Forest Elementary School | Schools
Peyton Forest Elementary School
301 Peyton Road SW
Principal: Karen Barlow-Brown
Testing Coordinator: Cornelia Primous
SRT-1 Executive Director: Dr. Sharon Davis-Williams
ATLANTA -- The investigation into Atlanta Public Schools concluded that CRCT cheating occurred at Peyton Forest Elementary School in 2009.
More than 86 percent of the school's classrooms were flagged for cheating; only two schools in the entire district had a higher percentage.
Cynthia James, a teacher at Peyton Forest, told the Governor's Special Investigators that fellow teacher Olivia Harris gave her a copy of the 2008 CRCT; James gave the test to the GBI and the Blue Ribbon Commission. She also witnessed Harris project a transparency of a page from the CRCT on her classroom wall; Karen Barlow-Brown, the school's principal, was in the room at the time. (100)
James claimed that a student in Harris's class had learning disabilities and should have been placed in a special education class, but the student supposedly scored so well on the CRCT that he did not qualify for special ed.
A third teacher, Tameka King, said she overheard students talking about how they had the answers to the 2010 test as well. (101)
Teacher Bahji Varner told investigators that teachers cheated on district-wide benchmark tests by pointing to correct answers, forcing students with low scores to retake the tests, and allowing poor writers to write drafts of essays for the Fifth Grade Writing Test, which were then reviewed and revised before the students were allowed to write on the official test paper. (102)
Barlow-Brown testified that she had "no reason to believe anyone cheated at Peyton Forest." (103) Harris denied giving James a copy of the 2008 CRCT, claiming that it was a practice test she had found on the Internet; however, the Governor's Office of Student Achievement confirmed that it was an actual CRCT. (104)
The investigation concluded that cheating happened through teachers changing students' answers, and that it became apparent when some students' test scores were not consistent with their abilities. (105)
Marissa Kalu-Thompson is currently the interim principal of Peyton Forest Elementary, according to the school's website.