Gov. Nathan Deal has granted the request of state investigators to complete their investigation into the 2009 administration of the CRCT exams in Dougherty County.
"After reviewing the preliminary results of the investigation in Dougherty County on Wednesday and today, contrary to my initial impression, I do not believe the investigation should be terminated," said former Georgia Attorney General Mike Bowers in a message sent to the Governor's Office Thursday. "Given those preliminary results, it is my recommendation that we complete the investigation in Dougherty. We will do this expeditiously with as little intrusion into the school system as is possible."
Deal on Tuesday released the investigators' findings of how the Atlanta Public Schools administered the 2009 exams. The report found systemic cheating. The investigation into the exam administration in Atlanta and Dougherty County began at the behest of then-Gov. Sonny Perdue in 2010.
"After completing the Atlanta Public Schools report, we had hoped that we were at a stopping point," said Deal. "Unfortunately, I received word Thursday that the investigators' review of their preliminary results in Dougherty County has raised grave concerns. We owe it to the children of Dougherty County to get answers, and our commitment to equal protection under the law requires us to treat all jurisdictions equally. In other words, the state simply cannot single out Atlanta if strong evidence suggests similar patterns elsewhere.
"I have instructed the investigators to present me with a complete report of their investigation into the Dougherty County School System as quickly as possible."