WDAY: The News Leader

Published July 16, 2011, 12:01 PM

Atlanta schools created culture of cheating, fear

ATLANTA (AP) - A new state report reveals how far some Atlanta public schools went to raise test scores in the nation's largest-ever cheating scandal.

The scandal first came to light two years ago. Now,

investigators have concluded that nearly half the city's schools

allowed cheating to go unchecked for as long as a decade, beginning

in 2001.

Teachers spent nights huddled in a back room, erasing wrong

answers on students' test sheets and filling in the correct

bubbles. At another school, struggling students were seated next to

higher-performing classmates so they could copy answers.

Tens of thousands of children were allowed to advance to higher

grades, even though they didn't know basic concepts. Most of the 44

schools were in the city's poorest neighborhoods.