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Georgia Education Officials Allow Atlanta School Board Members To Keep Jobs, On Year-Long Probation

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ATLANTA SCHOOLS
AP

Atlanta's eight school board members will get to keep their jobs -- for now.

The Georgia Board of Education signed a consent order with Atlanta Public Schools Tuesday that postpones sanctions against the city's school board until November 4, the Atlanta Political Buzz Examiner reports.

The agreement was signed just before a scheduled hearing that would have evaluated the eight board members, and would have allowed Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal to remove them from office.

APS was put on probation in January after allegations of widespread cheating on state standardized tests, grade inflation and disagreements among board members. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools had asked board members to make improvements such as resolving communication, operational and personal issues as well as ensuring that "the actions and behavior of all board members are aligned with board policies," the Examiner reports.

"Under these circumstances, with the dire need for leadership and support of the corrective action plan put forth by Superintendent Erroll Davis, the state board agrees to suspend the July 26, 2011, hearing and do agree to reconvene the hearing at its discretion no later than Nov. 4, 2011," state Board of Education Chairman Wanda Barrs wrote in a prepared statement, according to the Atlanta Business Journal.

Although the board has until September 30 to make the necessary changes, the Georgia attorney general's office sanctioned the group Monday night, instigating a year-long probationary period that monitors the board and puts them through training about state law, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.

The board's agreement to state scrutiny comes after the AJC and state investigators revealed a culture of covering up the widespread cheating, including from then-superintendent Beverly Hall. Hall has repeatedly denied she knew of the cheating happening in her district.

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