Just Seven Atlanta Educators Resign Amid Cheating Scandal

07/21/2011 12:16 pm ET | Updated Sep 20, 2011

Just seven educators implicated in the Atlanta cheating scandal met the Wednesday evening deadline imposed by interim superintendent Erroll Davis to resign before the district commences termination proceedings.

Davis sent a letter to the implicated educators last Friday, saying that they had until Wednesday to leave their posts, or get fired.

The announcement was made in light of a report that surfaced this month that teachers in at least 44 of the district's 56 schools had participated in various forms of cheating, including erasing and correcting wrong answers on students' answer sheets for mandated standardized test to meet goals for adequate yearly progress reports.

Of the seven who voluntarily left by Wednesday, one was an elementary school principal and six were elementary school teachers. Two resigned and five retired, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.

Keith Bromery, director of media relations for Atlanta Public Schools, told CNN he wasn't surprised that there were only seven voluntary departures, adding that more teachers can choose to resign even after the deadline.

Davis told parents at a town hall meeting last week that those involved in the incident would not be back in classrooms, but Bromery told CNN Wednesday that a final decision has not yet been made.

"They may be reassigned or put on administrative leave," he said.

The original number of 178 accused for cheating has also been revised to 179, according to AJC. Investigators removed one name from the list but implicated two more. The process of firing the other 172 teachers won't be easy. In Georgia, it could range from days to years through a costly system.

Some prosecutors are still deciding whether to open criminal cases against those accused, according to CNN. AJC reports that DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James has already opened a criminal investigation into five implicated APS schools. Conversely, one former APS teacher has filed the first lawsuit against the district for being fired after she offered information about cheating to investigators.