Jury finds 11 Atlanta educators guilty of conspiracy
- A jury on Wednesday found 11 of 12 Atlanta teachers and administrators guilty of conspiracy in a trial centered around the doctoring of standardized test answers stretching back to 2005.
- There were 35 educators among those indicted in March 2013, but 21 pleaded guilty to lesser charges and former superintendent Beverly Hall passed away during the trial.
- Those convicted face sentences of as much as 20 years, while additional felony charges — including false statements and theft, for which the jury returned mixed verdicts — could bring five to 10 years each. Sentencing is expected in the next two weeks.
The one educator cleared of any wrongdoing, Dessa Curb, has since retired from teaching but will continue volunteering in schools, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The cheating was initially uncovered in 2010 and took place at dozens of Atlanta schools, according to USA Today. Educators involved were reportedly pressured by administrators to doctor the standardized test scores. The scandal was detailed in the New Yorker last July, and Parks Middle School Principal Christopher Waller at one point reportedly intimidated teachers by asking, "Who's on my team?"
Ultimately, the Atlanta scandal serves as an extreme example of the pitfalls of high-stakes testing environments and is likely to serve as an argument for not tying school and teacher evaluations to standardized tests for years to come.
- USA Today 11 Atlanta educators convicted in cheating scandal
- Atlanta Journal-Constitution Eleven former teachers and administrators guilty in cheating trial
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