Renee Starzyk, CBS, December 7, 2010
Gov. Sonny Perdue responded on Tuesday to black clergy members who charge a special state investigation into cheating on standardized tests is racist.
“I don’t agree with that,” Perdue told CBS Atlanta. “And I don’t think that will be borne out. I don’t know the ethnicity of these teachers whatsoever.”
Perdue said black clergy leaders should be concerned about the students who passed the test because answers were changed from wrong to right.
“I do know that many of these students who have been defrauded are African Americans, and I just pray that the clergy would be as concerned about these students who have not been taught and have been pushed on,” said Perdue.
“The bigger option is dealing with racism, and how it affects the public education system,” said Concerned Black Clergy President the Rev. Richard Cobble on Monday.
Pressed on how the CRCT investigation was racist, Cobble told CBS Atlanta, “Cheating on tests is one of the means in which the system designed to keep us unfocused, to keep us distracted and keep us at each other throats.”
Members of the Concerned Black Clergy also said they plan to meet with the Fulton County District Attorney and ask him not to impose jail time on educators found guilty of cheating on standardized tests.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation and two special investigators appointed by the governor have said numerous teachers and administrators admitted changing answers on the Criterion-Referenced Competency Test.
The state launched a full-blown investigation after an erasure analysis found thousands of answers changed from wrong to right at schools across Atlanta.
“Concerned Black Clergy stands in solidarity with the 99.9 percent of our teachers who ain’t cheated on nothing,” said McDonald.