GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. (FOX 5 Atlanta) - Nine Gwinnett County educators were caught up in a school testing scandal.
The teachers, including one principal, are no longer employed with the school district after investigators say they violated testing procedures.
In a letter that was recently sent to parents revealed that 76 8th graders had to retake the Georgia milestones test on May 20. This comes after Gwinnett County board of education and the state board of education conducted an investigation which included reviewing tests and testing materials. They also conducted a personnel investigation and concluded.,
They've already named an interim principal, Vivian Stranahan. She's a former Gwinnett County principal and leader mentor in the school district.
She will serve as interim principal until a new principal is named by the school board. She will be working with school staff, supporting summer school efforts, and assisting with the transition to a new principal.
The school district will soon begin its process to appoint a new principal.
The letter sent home to parents by Dr. Steve Flynt, Associate Superintendent for School Improvement and Operations reads as follows:
“As you are aware, Gwinnett County Public Schools and the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) recently investigated concerns regarding the 8th-grade Milestones testing at your school. The GaDOE worked with our district assessment office to review each student's test and testing materials and determined that 76 students would be offered the retest. With the assistance of the GaDOE, we were able to complete the investigation and offer these students the retest on Monday, May 20, much sooner than the original retest date in late June. While it was unfortunate that a retest was necessary, this earlier date provided a much better option for students and families.
“In coordination with the testing investigation, our school district also completed a personnel investigation to ensure we had a full understanding of what occurred and to address concerns regarding any violations of testing procedures. As a result of that investigation, we did find that there were clear violations of testing procedures and potential violations of the Georgia Code of Ethics for Educators which calls for teachers to administer state-mandated assessments fairly and ethically without compromising the integrity of the assessment. In addition, we found a lack of oversight and training at the school level which compounded the issue. As a result of this investigation, six teachers and three administrators, including the principal, will not be returning to the school next year. As there are possible ethics violations, Gwinnett County Public Schools will be making a report to the Professional Standards Commission.
“As the school year has ended, these personnel changes will not have an impact on students. Mrs. Vivian Stranahan, a former Gwinnett principal and current leader mentor with the district who has been working with the school's leaders and teachers for the past few weeks, will serve as interim principal until a new principal is named by the School Board. She will be working with school staff, supporting summer school efforts, and assisting with the transition to a new principal. Please feel free to reach out to her with any questions or concerns you may have.
“The school district will soon begin its process to appoint a new principal. More information will be shared, including information about an online survey where you can provide input regarding the selection of the new principal.”