FEB. 4, 2004

Florida Department of Education sends an e-mail to school districts indicating that it had “recently come to our attention that some academic credits on transcripts from Eastern Oklahoma State College may have been awarded in error,” and asked them not to seek renewal of any teaching certificates based on these credits.

FEB. 13, 2004

Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education accept a “compliance review” of Eastern Oklahoma State College’s agreement with Move On Toward Education and Training (MOTET) from December 2002 through August 2003.  The compliance review states that students were awarded inappropriate academic credits for coursework through MOTET.  The review states that courses were taught and that the transcripts students were provided were “indistinguishable” from academic credit records.  The credits were issued inappropriately based on procedural violations of state rules, the review finds.  Eastern Oklahoma State was, and remains, an accredited postsecondary institution.
FEB. 16, 2004
Pursuant to a recommendation of the compliance review, Oklahoma higher education officials write to the Florida Department of Education and school districts in which MOTET operated (Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe and Palm Beach) to provide them with the review and to state the position of Oklahoma that the credits earned by students through MOTET were not valid academic credits.
MAY 5, 2004

District’s Chief Communications Officer writes to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) providing it the name of an employee who had contacted Channel 7 about “some sort of wrongdoing involving teacher certification.”  The reporter on the story wanted OIG to contact the employee “to ascertain if a formal investigation is warranted.”

MAY 12, 2004

Channel 7 airs reports describing the Eastern Oklahoma-MOTET agreement and the findings of the compliance review.  The story reports that 190 individuals may have taken courses through MOTET.

OCT. 8, 2004
OIG writes Dr. Crew, who became Superintendent on July 1, to inform him an investigation that “a M-DCPS physical education teacher is allegedly fraudulently providing courses of instruction enabling students to obtain credits from Eastern Oklahoma State College (EOST) and four other universities.”  The memo recommends that the Superintendent “consider temporarily restricting the following teachers from teaching driver’s education until the legitimacy of their respective driver’s education endorsement is established.”  Fourteen teachers are named, of which two are alleged to have gotten credits from Eastern Oklahoma State.  The memo indicates that an investigation is ongoing and that the information should not be made public.
APRIL 14, 2005
OIG writes to Dr. Crew that “on April 13, 2005, the OIG and the [State Attorney’s Office] obtained important information which confirmed that the 14 teachers’ driver’s education endorsements are not valid, based on the fact they did not comply with state regulatory requirements.” No documentation of the confirming evidence is provided.  At the time, all of the employees held (and still hold) valid Florida teaching credentials that include a state endorsement to teach driver’s education.
APRIL 15, 2005

Dr. Crew directs staff to prepare a plan to remove the driver’s education teachers.

APRIL 19, 2005
Teachers in question are reassigned from teaching driver’s education.
JUNE 22, 2005
 Dr. Crew writes to OIG requesting information with which to take action against teachers alleged to have used fraudulent means to obtain teaching endorsements or recertification.  The memo follows a meeting the day before at which prosecutors indicated to the Superintendent that approximately 100 District employees may have received academic credit from Eastern Oklahoma State through MOTET.
JULY 18, 2005

Miami-Dade County Grand Jury releases its report investigating the Eastern Oklahoma-MOTET scheme.  William McCoggle, a former teacher, was indicted for his role in MOTET. The Grand Jury found “serious questions as to the legitimacy of teaching credentials of close to 100 teachers.”  In contrast to Oklahoma’s compliance review, the Grand Jury report asserts that no classes were taught through MOTET.  The report also asserts that McCoggle had been arranging for teachers to get recertification credits “for more than a decade,” although the compliance review indicated that MOTET’s arrangement with Eastern Oklahoma State lasted less than a year.  No other higher education institutions are mentioned.  Given the secrecy of grand jury proceedings, evidence obtained during the investigation is not made public.

JULY 20, 2005
OIG writes to Dr. Crew indicating it has been authorized by the State Attorney’s Office to provide the names of 106 employees (not all of whom are teachers) “for your administrative review.”  Despite investigating the matter for more than the year, OIG “highly” recommends that the District “conduct additional searches to determine if there are more teachers who obtained credits from Eastern Oklahoma State College through MOTET, who are currently employed by M-DCPS.”  No mention is made of other higher education institutions.  No documentation is provided to describe how the 106 employees were identified or what evidence there may be against them.
JULY 21, 2005

Dr. Crew writes to OIG requesting “detailed documentation” of the allegations against the 106 employees within five days so that the District could move forward in keeping with the protection of students and its obligations to due process under collective bargaining agreements.

JULY 22, 2005
OIG writes to Dr. Crew offering additional information – the specific courses allegedly taken by each of 106 employees from Eastern Oklahoma State through MOTET.  The memo also indicates the job held by each employee, and a number of them are not teachers.  The memo also states that “we did not state that ‘the listed employees allegedly violated the law or School Board rule.’ “
JULY 26, 2005

Dr. Crew writes to OIG reiterating his interest in disciplining employees who intentionally and improperly obtained academic credits and specifying the information he needs to move forward with due process proceedings.

JULY 29, 2005
OIG writes that, in its view, it has provided enough information “to conduct administrative reviews which should assist you in determining if appropriate administrative action is warranted.”  The memo repeats that OIG “did not state that the employees identified violated a law or School Board Rule.”  While the duties of the Inspector General include “preparing documents, exhibits, schedules, reports or other pertinent information for use in the formal adjudication of cases in a court of law, and presents cases for prosecution and testifies in court as needed,” OIG asserts in the memo that “our function is not to review the conduct of each teacher/employee.” 
AUG. 3, 2005

Dr. Crew writes to the School Board Attorney asking whether the information provided by OIG is sufficient legally to initiate an administrative investigation of the 106 employees identified given any pertinent law and collective bargaining agreements.

AUG. 9, 2005

Dr. Crew writes to president of Eastern Oklahoma State asking for assistance in compiling information about MOTET and District employees issued credits by the college.                    

AUG. 10, 2005
School Board Attorney responds to the Superintendent’s request for an opinion on the legal sufficiency of OIG’s information as the basis to begin administrative proceedings against employees.  The Board Attorney finds that there is basis in state law and Board Rules to initiate administrative action against the employees.  The Board Attorney also offers that OIG’s record are subject to public disclosure under the state’s Sunshine Law, given that OIG is not subject to any exemptions provided to law enforcement agencies.
AUG. 17, 2005

School Board votes to allow contracts with the current Inspector General and investigators expire on Aug. 31, 2005, and to restructure OIG based on best practice models.  Dr. Crew sends a memo to OIG outlining a transition plan, including the transmittal of files and other documents.

AUG. 24, 2005

Chief Auditor, Special Counsel to the Superintendent, and two Schools Police investigators meet with OIG to review materials related to MOTET and to ensure secure all investigative materials held by OIG are conveyed appropriately.  The Inspector General indicates that the State Attorney’s Office has MOTET files available for review and refuses to disclose if his office has any relevant files.

Dr. Crew writes to Education Commissioner John Winn asking that the Florida Department of Education conduct a joint investigation of the MOTET scheme with Miami-Dade County Public Schools, given that the allegations reach beyond Miami-Dade and that the teachers involved still hold valid state teaching credentials.

AUG. 29, 2005

State Attorney’s Office agrees to allow the District to photocopy the discovery materials made available to McCoggle’s defense counsel.  Prosecutors state that the documents include six sworn statements from teachersacknowledging that they paid MOTET to receive Eastern Oklahoma credits without attending classes or completing any course work.

AUG. 30, 2005

Dr. Crew writes to the presidents of four accredited higher education institutions – Bethel College, Otterbein College, Phillips University and St. Gregory University – asking for assistance in investigating any MOTET-related credits issued by their schools to M-DCPS employees.

# # #

BACK to MOTET release


Back to News Releases