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How School Districts Facing Cheating Allegations Are Moving Forward

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CHEATING SCHOOLS
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Three year-round elementary schools opened for classes in Atlanta today without problems, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.

Two of the three schools opened with new principals, named earlier this week following state investigations of widespread cheating among Atlanta schools by teachers. Interim Superintendent Erroll Davis also replaced four district superintendents Monday.

The road to reform in Atlanta will take months, Davis told AJC last week. In addition to the administrative shuffle, Atlanta Public Schools will be offering to students additional tutoring and after-school classes.

Atlanta's cheating scandal comes amid similar allegations against school districts in Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

D.C. schools released Friday results from its own standardized tests, just after a district official revealed that the U.S. Department of Education has joined the local investigation into allegations of testing dishonesty.

Pennsylvania flagged 60 schools across the state as having questionable results on standardized tests in a 2009 investigation, The Philadelphia Public School Notebook reported Friday.

Now, Pennsylvania Rep. Michael P. McGeehan has called for a statewide "Whistle-blower Hotline" that encourages teachers and other school staff to anonymously report irregular testing practices. The system would protect teachers from repercussions they currently fear for speaking out against cheating, The Inquirer reports.

"I think you would see the floodgates open on this growing scandal and we would see repercussions beyond what we can foresee," McGeehan told The Inquirer.

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