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APS Scandal: What about the students?

9:07 AM, Jul 13, 2011   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- In an attempt to move forward from the cheating scandal clouding Atlanta Public Schools, Interim Superintendent Erroll Davis last week spoke to a packed room about the district's next steps.

COMPLETE COVERAGE: Atlanta Public Schools CRCT Investigation

During the APS meeting, he announced that he would test and provide extra help for students directly affected by the scandal, making remediation a top priority.

As the start of the school year grows closer, 11Alive News will hold Davis to that promise. APS spokesman Keith Bromery said the plan is not yet finalized, but students will be tested toward the beginning of the school year to assess their skill level. The district will also look at students' past test scores to determine their learning trends and where they should be academically.

If a student is behind, he or she could receive extra help before and after school, along with specialized attention during the day. Once the students move to the next grade, they will continue to be tracked through the system to make sure they stay on track.

The process will be formed based on results of skill assessment tests this fall, and may be similar to the 12-week accelerated academic recovery program implemented this year for some flagged schools.

For many parents, there is the concern that students will fall through the cracks. Vernetta Nuriddin has two children whose test scores were skewed by cheating. In 2009, she spent nearly two months at home preparing her son for the CRCT. She saw the red flags as soon as she got his test results.

"We were practicing and he was just not...I mean out of 10 questions, he would get just one or two correct," she said.

"But when we got the scores back, he scored at the top of the state," she added. "He exceeded in all areas and right away I didn't think that the scores were accurate."

Nuriddin has since transferred her son to a charter school, but said her biggest concern is making sure he is caught up.

"Instead of him thriving, we're maintaining grade level, and he could be doing so much more," she said. "First, second and third grade, they really set that foundation for studying, for comprehension, for reading. And those things, I think, were robbed from him."

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