12 Atlanta Educators Face Trial in Widespread Cheating Scandal

David Beasley, Reuters, August 11, 2014

The trial of a dozen former Atlanta educators charged in one of the nation’s largest school test-cheating scandals began on Monday and could last several months, prosecutors said.

The group of former teachers, principals and administrators was accused of conspiring to alter students’ standardized test scores after a state investigation uncovered cheating at 44 Atlanta public schools in 2009.

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In all, 35 public educators were indicted in the scandal, which rocked the school system. Most of them have resolved their cases by pleading guilty.

Former Atlanta school superintendent Beverly Hall was due to be among the final group headed to trial, but her case was delayed indefinitely after advanced breast cancer left her too sick to attend court proceedings.

Hall was named national superintendent of the year by the American Association of School Administrators the same year prosecutors contend widespread cheating took place. She received a $78,000 bonus in 2009 from the school system for improving its test scores, prosecutors said.

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