A 12-year-old surprise defense witness Wednesday vehemently denied accusations his former Atlanta Public Schools teacher coached kids to change answers on a 2009 state exam.
Derrick Broadwater answers questions during his disciplinary tribunal at the Atlanta public schools headquarters on April 16, 2012.
The student testified fourth grade teacher Derrick Broadwater was a good teacher who deserves to keep his job.
“He read the directions and started walking around,” the student said of testing days in 2009. “He didn’t say nothing to the students.”
The boy was the first student to testify in the district’s termination proceedings against educators suspected of cheating. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is not using his name because of his age.
In addition to the former Dobbs Elementary School student, the tribunal also heard testimony from a lawyer who said he witnessed Broadwater’s interview with state investigators. The lawyer maintained the educator never confessed to cheating.
“He admitted no falsehoods; he admitted no crime; he admitted no cheating whatsoever in the conversation,” attorney John C. Jones told the panel. “It is just false.”
A charge letter that referred Broadwater for termination said that according to the special investigative report on the 2009 state exam the teacher “admitted” to violating testing rules and prompting students to recheck their work if he saw wrong answers.
Broadwater is one of nearly 180 APS teachers suspected of cheating on the state exam. He has been charged with willful neglect of duties, immorality and violating ethics policies.
APS attorney Nina Gupta called attorney Roslyn S. Mowatt, who was part of the investigative team appointed to probe allegations of widespread cheating on the 2009 Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests. She said she, too, witnessed Broadwater’s interview with the state.
Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution | D. Aileen Dodd