Four people caught in a teacher certification test fraud scandal have agreed to stop teaching, ending the federal case involving a long-running scam that affected students in Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee, prosecutors said yesterday.
Janett Dixon, of Northport, Alabama; Corey Holmes, of Metcalfe; Charles Ray Lee, of Magee; and Nia Kimble-Harris of Memphis are four of 40 former teachers who have received diversion agreements for their participation in the test fraud scheme led by Clarence Mumford, the U.S. attorney’s office in West Tennessee said yesterday.
Mumford, a longtime educator, pleaded guilty in February 2013 to arranging for people to take Praxis certification tests on behalf of aspiring teachers in the three states. He is serving seven years in prison.
From 1995 to 2010, teachers paid Mumford up to $3,000 each to hire ringers to take reading, writing, math, physical education and other exams on their behalf. Mumford’s fee included fake driver’s licenses he made for test-takers, who showed them to proctors at examination centers.
The teachers then used the passing scores to get jobs in public school systems.
The Associated Press reports that prosecutors say “nine Mississippi districts that hired teachers helped by Mumford were characterized as “low performing.”
In all, 13 participants have been convicted of felonies, and 10 are serving prison terms. That’s in addition to the 40 former teachers who reached deals in which they were stripped of teaching licenses and ordered to pay restitution to school districts that employed them.