Mentor Steered New Teacher to Cheating Scandal



Clarence Mumford Sr.
  • Clarence Mumford Sr.
A first-year Memphis City Schools teacher and a former assistant principal at a charter school have pleaded guilty in the test-taking-for-pay scandal.

U.S. Attorney Edward Stanton III announced the pleas Thursday of Carlos Shaw, 37, and Shantell Shaw, 40, both of Memphis. They are not related. Since July, a total of 15 people have been indicted or pleaded guilty in the teacher certification scam allegedly orchestrated by Clarence Mumford Sr., 59, of Memphis, a former assistant principal and guidance counselor in MCS.

According to Stanton, Mumford was a mentor to Shantell Shaw in 2008 when she was a new teacher at Trezevant High School.

"Mumford eventually approached Shaw and asked her to take a biology certification examination on
behalf of a teacher who had failed the test eleven times and was in danger of losing her job. Shaw initially declined but, after meeting the teacher who needed the test taken, agreed to take the test for $1000. Shaw took approximately twelve to fifteen tests and was paid approximately $8,000," according to a statement issued by Stanton's office.

Carlos Shaw was an assistant principal at Memphis Academy of Science and Engineering and also taught at Carver High School and Booker T. Washington High School. He was approached by Mumford approximately ten years ago when he and Mumford taught summer school together.

"Mumford repeatedly asked Shaw to take examinations for teachers needing passing scores, and Shaw eventually agreed. He admitted to being paid by Mumford to take 10 to 15 tests for payment ranging from $200 to $700," the statement said.

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