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February 3, 2013

In a Memphis Cheating Ring, the Teachers Are the Accused

Motoko Rich:

MEMPHIS -- In the end, it was a pink baseball cap that revealed an audacious test-cheating scheme in three Southern states that spanned at least 15 years.

Test proctors at Arkansas State University spotted a woman wearing the cap while taking a national teacher certification exam under one name on a morning in June 2009 and then under another name that afternoon. A supervisor soon discovered that at least two other impersonators had registered for tests that day.

Ensuing investigations ultimately led to Clarence D. Mumford Sr., 59, who pleaded guilty on Friday to charges that accused him of being the cheating ring's mastermind during a 23-year career in Memphis as a teacher, assistant principal and guidance counselor.

Federal prosecutors had indicted him on 63 counts, including mail and wire fraud and identify theft. They said he doctored driver's licenses, pressured teachers to lie to the authorities and collected at least $125,000 from teachers and prospective teachers in Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee who feared that they could not pass the certification exams on their own.

Posted by Jim Zellmer at February 3, 2013 4:25 AM
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