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Has APS helped students affected by CRCT scandal?

8:28 PM, May 3, 2013   |    comments
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Atlanta Public Schools

ATLANTA -- All the attention on the courtroom should not distract from what's happening in the classroom.

We dug into the question: what is being done for the students affected by the Atlanta Public Schools CRCT cheating scandal, specifically those students who moved onto the next grade because their tests were changed?

Immediately after the scandal became a national story, outgoing APS school board chairperson Khaatim Sherrer El said the following: "I have failed to protect thousands of children ... children who come from homes like mine."

He was in tears as he said it.

The APS board and its new superintendent, Erroll Davis, vowed then to provide aid to the students who had wrongly advanced to the next grade. In the months that followed, they earmarked roughly 5500 children, but they struggled to pinpoint all of them.

"Therefore," said Davis several months later, "we have decided to cast a much wider net."

An APS spokesperson says the system has made changes that affect all low-performing students, not just the ones affected by the CRCT. The board has added Saturday school for students not on grade level, also hiring teachers specifically to manage remediation programs after school.

But, said one vocal parent, that's not good enough.

"They have not given us any specific plan," said Shawnna Hayes-Tavares, who is running this year for the APS school board.

Hayes-Tavares feels the district needs to focus more on the students directly affected by the scandal.

"Show me the data on those students," she demanded. "Show me where they were, show me what you've done, and show me where they are today."

APS spokesperson Steve Alford assured that any struggling student -- CRCT-affected or not -- is getting more help than was available two years ago.

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