CRCT Investigation Report: Thomasville Heights Elementary School | Schools
Thomasville Heights Elementary School
1820 Henry Thomas Drive SE
Principal: Janice Kelsey
Testing Coordinator: Tracey Fisher
SRT-2 Executive Director: Michael Pitts
ATLANTA -- Nearly 40 percent of the classrooms at Thomasville Heights Elementary School were flagged for cheating on the 2009 CRCT, the Governor's Special Investigators reported.
Two teachers admitted to cheating, according to the report released Tuesday. They claimed they were under immense pressure from principal Janice Kelsey, who in turn had been placed on several Professional Development Plans and "felt pressure from her SRT Executive Director" Michael Pitts.
Cheating also occurred at Thomasville Heights in 2008, when Kelsey administered part of the test to a first grade class and then selected a handful of students to be tested apart from their classmates. (235)
Witnesses told investigators they saw Kelsey's car at the school on a Saturday shortly after a student's answer sheet went missing in 2008. The sheet was eventually found under a bookcase in teacher Giselle Brown's classroom; Brown "was unable to explain how that had occurred." (236)
"It was all about the numbers," Brown told investigators.
Two teachers admitted to cheating in 2009, according to the report. Jennitra Oliver said she rephrased several questions and encouraged her students to remember what they studied in class, while Theresa Nickolich pointed out the answers that students got wrong, according to the report. (235)
Kelsey retired after the 2008-2009 school year. When questioned by investigators, she "had no idea why people would suspect her of doing anything to the tests. She said if she was going to cheat she would have done it well enough to make targets." (239)
Still, the investigation determined that Kelsey "failed to properly monitor the 2009 CRCT," which allowed Oliver, Nickolich and testing coordinator Tracey Fisher to cheat.