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MEDIA CONTACT: Matt Cardoza, GaDOE Communications Office, (404) 651-7358, firstname.lastname@example.org December 20, 2011 – State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge released the following statement regarding the Dougherty County School System Cheating Investigation that was released today. "Today's report on cheating by some educators in the Dougherty County School System is another sad case of adults putting personal interests above those of their students. I am especially disappointed in education leaders who would threaten teachers' jobs if students did not perform well on the CRCT. While this behavior is inexcusable, it does highlight the need to look at a different, more thorough accountability system such as Georgia's new College and Career Ready Performance Index, which we have already submitted in the form of a waiver to the U.S. Dept. of Education seeking relief from the narrowly defined designation of success found in No Child Left Behind. Relying on a single test to determine a student's and a school's academic success is plagued with problems." "The Georgia Department of Education will work closely with the Dougherty County School System to provide support for students who were negatively impacted by the actions of adults. We will also look into whether or not any schools and educators undeservedly received financial reward for these artificial CRCT results." "As was the case with the Atlanta Public Schools investigation findings, the vast majority of the educators in Dougherty County and throughout the state are ethically sound and work diligently with the best interests of their students in mind. I'm committed to working with our districts to ensure our students are not robbed of a quality and meaningful education."