Teacher in Atlanta Cheating Scandal Is Fired

Hearings for the other 179 teachers are scheduled through the end of March.

Posted: 03/15/2012 02:32 PM EDT

The first teacher has been fired in the massive cheating scandal that rocked Atlanta Public Schools.

A panel of educators voted to fire former Parks Middle School teacher Damany Lewis after the teacher confessed Wednesday to cheating for four straight years. Damany admitted to using a razor blade to cut into test booklets and make copies for other teachers to provide to their students.

Lewis is not alone, however. Last July, 179 other teachers and principals in the school district were accused of giving answers to students or changing answers once their Criterion-Reference Competency Tests were completed. According to the Georgia Department of Education, the test is designed to measure how well students acquire the skills and knowledge tested in Georgia’s required standardized tests, but many teachers cheated out of fear of being fired.

"Fear of termination and public ridicule in faculty and principals' meetings drove numerous educators to cross ethical lines," a 2011 investigative report by the state of Georgia reads. "Further, because targets rose annually, teachers found it increasingly difficult to achieve them."

Hearings are scheduled through March 30.

Since the accusations broke, three educators have resigned.     

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(Photo: Atlanta Public Schools)

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