CRCT Investigation Report: Toomer Elementary School | Schools
Toomer Elementary School
665 Rogers Street
Principal: Dr. Tonya Saunders
Testing Coordinator: Hezekiah Wardlow
SRT-3 Executive Director: Dr. Gloria Patterson
ATLANTA -- The investigation into Atlanta Public Schools concluded that CRCT cheating occurred at Toomer Elementary School in 2009 and other years.
More than 21 percent of the school's classrooms were flagged for "wrong-to-right erasures" in 2009; that number dropped to zero the following year, according to the investigation.
Evidence suggests that principal Tonya Saunders encouraged teachers to cheat and look at CRCT booklets ahead to time so they could know how to prepare their students to get the highest possible scores. (204)
Two teachers, Lysandra Hardaway and Sheila Brown, admitted that they used voice inflection to let their students know the correct answers to certain questions. Latoya Royal Stiffend, another teacher, said that testing coordinator Hezekiah Wardlow encouraged her to rearrange the seating chart in her classroom so the stronger students would receive the more difficult writing topics; Stiffend denied complying with the request. (205)
When questioned, Saunders claimed that she was in the hospital during the 2009 CRCT, but she admitted to telling teachers to look ahead in the testing booklets.
The investigation stated that "Saunders placed teachers on [Professional Development Plans] for low test scores, and given this pressure she was not surprised that they cheated." (205)
The Governor's Special Investigators concluded that Saunders, Wardlow, Brown and Hardaway were all guilty of cheating.
Dr. Nicole Evans Jones is now principal of Toomer Elementary, according to the school's website.