APS teacher fired in cheating scandal, rehired

Source: WGCL

You know the story well. Eleven educators arrested, tried and convicted on racketeering charges stemming from an elaborate plot to help teachers meet the demands of the no child left behind act.

To do so, they changed student's answers on state-administered standardized tests.

Now, CBS46 has discovered that one of the teachers involved in that scandal is back in the classroom. This time with more violations on her record.

Her name is Idalina Couto. In 2012, Atlanta Public Schools fired her, after the GBI said she admitted to telling students to re-read questions with wrong answers or rewording questions students didn't understand.

They also said she knew about other school officials cheating, but never reported it.

Even with the cheating scandal on her resume, Couto was later hired as the program director of the after school enrichment program in Wolf Creek. That's where she met Finequa Mahone and her 5-year-old son.

Mahone says while Couto was in charge, her son was sexually assaulted by another student in a bathroom stall. Mahone filed a police report and a complaint with the state.

In November 2016 an investigation was launched. The Department of Early Care and Learning hit Couto and the program with two violations.

CBS46 found out Couto no longer works for the after school program. Then in January, she was hired by KIPP Ways Primary School.

When we questioned a spokesperson about the schools decision to hire a teacher caught in the largest cheating scandal in U.S. history, she told me they did a full background check, and the teacher checked out at every state of the process.

But she also said:We have since learned that the teacher might have been dismissed from Atlanta Public Schools in 2012 for alleged cheating. We are currently conducting an internal review. That review has been going on for almost two weeks now.

CBS46 tried to track Couto down. We stopped by a home this afternoon but was told she no longer lives there.

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