Atlanta School Cheating Trial Has Teachers Facing Prison

Jenny Jarvie, Los Angeles Times, September 6, 2014

Amid a wave of school cheating scandals across the country, a landmark trial here is set to begin with school teachers facing up to 35 years in prison in one of the biggest academic misconduct cases in American history.

Opening statements are expected to start this month in the trial of 12 former Atlanta Public Schools employees accused of boosting students’ scores by altering and falsely certifying students’ answers in standardized tests.

The state’s investigation implicated more than 180 teachers and administrators in 44 schools.


The trial also has opened wounds among some residents who say that teachers and administrators on trial–all African Americans who worked in low-income neighborhoods–are being unfairly prosecuted under Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations statute.

“This is a witch hunt against black teachers,” said the Rev. Timothy McDonald III, pastor of First Iconium Baptist Church in southeast Atlanta.

Like many African American leaders here, he said the state’s investigation is a politically motivated attempt to discredit Atlanta’s public schools.

“Yes, there should be some punishment–suspensions, fines, even loss of jobs–but 35 years in jail?” McDonald said. “The community did not ask for this kind of prosecution.”

Atlanta Public Schools was once hailed as one of the highest-performing urban districts in the nation.

Test scores climbed so rapidly that its chief, Beverly Hall, was named National Superintendent of the Year in 2009 by the American Assn. of School Administrators.

Just a few months later, however, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution published a series of reports on suspicious jumps in that year’s state-mandated test results.

Then-Gov. Sonny Perdue launched an inquiry, sending more than 50 investigators to elementary and middle schools to interview more than 2,100 teachers, administrators and students.

Investigators found “organized and systemic misconduct” in 44 of 56 schools and said administrators created a “culture of fear, intimidation and retaliation.” The administrators used data as an “abusive and cruel weapon” to coax employees into crossing ethical lines, investigators said.


More than 80 educators confessed to test tampering. In some schools, they huddled together in offices to correct multiple-choice papers. In one case, a principal was reported to have held “erasure parties” at her pool.

In March 2013, a Fulton County grand jury returned a 65-count indictment charging 35 teachers and administrators with taking part in a racketeering enterprise and other charges, such as making false statements and influencing witnesses.


Hall, who is charged with racketeering, making false statements, theft and influencing witnesses, has denied any knowledge of cheating. Her trial has been postponed as she receives treatment for breast cancer. Another defendant has passed away, and 21 others have agreed to assist prosecutors in exchange for probation.

The trial for the remaining 12 teachers and administrators is almost certain to be one of the most scrutinized in Georgia history.


The Atlanta educators are not the first to face criminal prosecution for cheating. Last year, the former schools chief in El Paso became the nation’s first superintendent to be convicted of manipulating test scores for financial gain.

Last year, a report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office said that officials in 40 states detected potential cheating in K-12 tests given to public school students between 2010 and 2012. In California, the state Department of Education stripped 27 schools of their academic ratings last year because of testing irregularities.


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  • cherrie greenbaum123

    Tsk, tsk, tsk….it’s getting harder to get that “gibsmuhdat” cash when YT makes you pass a test! The good reverend is correct. It’s not fair to hold them to our standards. But we shouldn’t have to pay for them, either.

    • Oil Can Harry

      Agreed. These teachers should be fired and lose their pensions and it should end there.

      Prosecuting them and housing them in our already crowded prisons is just another waste of our tax $.

      • obot

        I say house the younger ones so they can’t breed as easily

  • Anglokraut

    I doubt the Negroes would look the other way if the pass they are willing to write to corrupt teachers were extended to other public servants…like say, police officers.
    But that’s asking the Negro mind to think ahead, which is a White Thing, and absolutely not acceptable in any situation.

  • MekongDelta69

    “‘This is a witch hunt against black teachers,’ said the Rev. Timothy McDonald III…”

    Well – when you’re hunting witches ‘Rev.’


    • Spikeygrrl

      Sorry to be the one to correct your Ebonics, but the accepted spelling is “nomesane.”

      • gnomesane is also acceptable.

        • Spikeygrrl

          Noted and logged.

  • Adolf Verloc

    I’d have to agree that 35 years is kind of excessive. A lot of rapists, killers and armed robbers don’t go to jail for nearly that long.

    • On a non-violent state felony, one comes up for parole hearings after doing about a third of the sentence. Note also that the 35 years is the statutory maximum, and not what these Afritards will actually receive.

      In my case, I was eligible for a 20 year statutory max. I received 41 months, and with time off for good behavior, I did 36 months of that. I’d already done 17 months fighting my case out, so I was almost halfway done when I was sentenced.

      These jackwipes will be OK.

      • kikz2

        could ya, would ya, please tell us what you went up for? I’ve never seen you say…

        • Federal extortion. They gave me a really nice PO and an even nicer head-shrinker. Did me lots of good.

          • brior

            Is that not what they call the post office?

      • bilderbuster

        If they get a jury of their peers like OJ did the only thing they might lose is their jobs.

    • 1stworlder

      The guy that killed Micheal Jackson served less time than he would have if caught illegally downloading one of his songs.

      • bilderbuster

        I didn’t know killing Michael Jackson was supposed to be a serious crime?

    • brior

      If they are black.

  • Sloppo

    I don’t condone the cheating, but I kind of feel worry for the teachers. They would have been penalized because their pupils couldn’t learn as well as the predominately white and asian pupils which attend schools to the north of Atlanta. Well, it really wasn’t the teachers’ fault that their ethnic-African students have an average IQ about 20 points lower than the students at the other schools. Obviously, they didn’t handle the situation correctly. They should have just been honest about their problem.

    • Adolf Verloc

      It is a no-win situation for the teachers in minority schools with high-stakes tests. They are expected to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, and if they don’t they may be faced with unemployment. Doesn’t excuse what they did, but it should mitigate it.

      • Sloppo

        The problem is that they’re deathly afraid to be honest about the problem. It may be interesting to watch them dance around the truth.

        • bilderbuster

          The truth?
          Why it’s racism of course.
          What else could it be?

    • Whitetrashgang

      Really more like 30 points , but otherwise true.

      • 1stworlder

        You are splitting hairs. Full Africans like the west side of the isle of Hispania that Haiti occupies have an avg IQ of 70, While more mixed like the east side of the isle Dominican Republic has the avg IQ of US blacks at 85

        • Melvin Bonzarelli

          If you put two Haitians together, that’s an IQ of 140! Every two Haitians is a genius, mon!

          • Anglokraut

            Black math would be great if it weren’t always wrong!

  • TruthBeTold

    Every time you read an article in the NYTs that a minority school has narrowed ‘the gap’ you can be sure that a year later the school will be accused of cheating.

    • Melvin Bonzarelli

      That’s why the rich white folks who own and write for liberal papers like the NYT all send their children to the inner-city largely black public schools. Because those schools are getting better all the time. :>)

      • bilderbuster

        The NYT isn’t White owned.

        • Melvin Bonzarelli

          Maybe there’s a different NYT on your planet.

          • He’s right, once you learn what White means.

            The NYT and its ilk are the sworn enemy of the white race.

          • bilderbuster

            Well maybe in your world Authur Ochs Sulzberger is considered White, but in reality it’s well known that he’s Semitic and is active in Jewish causes.

  • The trial also has opened wounds among some residents who say that teachers and administrators on trial–all African Americans who worked in low-income neighborhoods–are being unfairly prosecuted under Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations statute. “This is a witch hunt against black teachers,” said the Rev. Timothy McDonald III, pastor of First Iconium Baptist Church in southeast Atlanta.

    I can prove that isn’t true with what was written later in the article:

    The Atlanta educators are not the first to face criminal prosecution for cheating. Last year, the former schools chief in El Paso became the nation’s first superintendent to be convicted of manipulating test scores for financial gain.

    El Paso = Hispanic.

    But there’s something else. This goes to show that the advocates for the black teachers in Atlanta strung up on this rap don’t know the first thing or the second thing or the third thing or the last thing about public relations. Sure, this line about “they’re out to get us because we’re black” works in Bell Curve City, (where there is a direct relationship between the illogicalness-improbability-insanity-incorrectness of an idea and the likelihood that it will become conventional wisdom and common currency), but nobody else believes it.

    Here’s the case they would make if they wanted to get public sympathy:

    “It was wrong, yes, we admit that, but there’s nothing else we could do. Because the system the way the politicians have recently rigged it means that the job status and compensation of teachers is increasingly dependent on student achievement, and therefore APS teachers are at the mercy of their low IQ allergic-to-education dumb as hell (*) black students. If you were in our shoes, you would have done the same thing.”

    (*) – One of the teachers convicted in this dragnet actually did use the words “dumb as hell” to refer to her black students.

    • Melvin Bonzarelli

      The teacher who made that comment about her students being ‘dumb as hell’ posted that comment on her facebook page and was fired when of one of the parents saw the post and reported it. The teacher who posted that comment is black, by the way.

    • 1stworlder

      The funny thing about it is they got caught by people looking to duplicate their success at lowering the non Asian minority gap. Its like cheating at golf and saying you shot a 19 on an 18 hole course.

      • bilderbuster

        The 19th hole is the club bar.

  • anony

    These people have no concept of integrity and honor, and they would not recognize truth if it walked up and slapped them in the face.

    We need to be rid of these barbarians!

  • John Smith

    This is just one of the many “symptoms” of the actual problem –

    Overall, collectively, black students simply cannot be integrated into school systems with high education standards suited for white students.

    There is an old saying, “first you must clearly define the PROBLEM, before you can hope to address it”.

    Yes, they excel academically in math, the sciences, etc., but this issue still applies to indians and asians too.

    (This is admittedly an oversimplification and I am painting with a broad brush, so hopefully the Englemans of the world will not quibble and split hairs) Our history, literature, arts, etc are alien to them, so everything has to be watered down and made generic and “PC”.

    One of the major objectives of a university of higher learning is to also pass down the culture, heritage and history to the next generation of young people.

    But with a “diverse” group, whose culture, heritage and history gets discussed and passed down to the next generation?

    Jeez, so called “diversity” sure does stink.

  • Ed

    I kind of agree but it’s the black community that chooses to blame schools for their dysfunction. So the government puts pressure on teachers to do the impossible or lose their jobs. Of course they are going to find ways to preserve themselves.

  • Melvin Bonzarelli

    The same kind of falsification of student grades has been alleged to be going on in predominantly (i.e. 99%) black public schools in Chicago and Detroit. Chicago has gotten a pass so far because the Chicago Board of Ed is connected closely to Mayor Rahm Emanuel who is joined at the hip and possibly other body parts to Barack Obama. In Detroit, black school administrators have based their own defense on the fact that the most recently published school test scores in that city show only three percent (3%) of students performing above grade level in English and zero percent (0%) performing above grade level in math. Their reasoning goes, ‘if we were really cheating and trying to show what great advances our brilliant students have made under their uniquely talented teachers, don’t you think we would have pumped up these abysmal test scores? Our students are obviously idiots, the test scores clearly show that and also prove that we did not inflate their grades”.
    Kind of works for me.

    • Grades are easy fodder for falsification and inflation. Another vector is course and class titles; none other than The Oprah exposed that scandal. The class says “Trigonometry,” but at best simple algebra is what is being taught.

      Grade inflation + Course title inflation = Zimbabwe money is worth more than black high school transcripts.

      • IstvanIN

        The only difference between a black diploma and a Zim dollar are the number of plys.

      • convairXF92

        I recall a NYT article on one of the last remaining schools for unwed mothers. For the state geometry requirement, the girls were allowed to sew quilts (nothing on the quilts alluded to Euclid).

        Course-title inflation appears in non-black environments too. Penn State/Hazleton (in the mid-seventies, before Dominicans and blacks moved in) had a course listed as multivariate calculus. I registered for this and found out they were just barely starting integration (single variable). The dean offered to extend the drop date for me in case I found this course too hard!

    • Groovy

      It all started in Compton about 30 years ago.

    • AndrewInterrupted

      Falsification of grades is also taking place in foreign countries. H-1B visa holders from China and India tend to be sub-par across the board. H-1B is just another immigration scam. They never leave.

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    In 2009, Hall was named National Superintendent of the Year by the Schools Superintendents Association, which at the time, said Hall’s ‘leadership turned Atlanta into a model of urban school reform.’

    Beverly Hall also took credit for “turning around the Newark, NJ schools.”

    By the time she left Newark, $73 million in education funds were missing.

    Beverly’s Hall’s salary in Atlanta was $344,000 yearly salary PLUS she received $580,000 in bonuses over the last ten years.

    She’s nothing more than an Affirmative Action criminal who thinks there’s nothing wrong with fleeing the public for personal gain. I’m sure she’s shocked and in disbelief that she’s been accused of doing anything wrong.

    By the time this is over, Beverly Hall and her “gang” will be the victims and the cheating blamed on “Racist White America.”

    Hmmmm…There seems to be a pattern here but I can’t quite put my finger on what it is.

    • IstvanIN

      They look so smart!

      • Katherine McChesney


      • Douglas Quaid

        Don’t judge, I bet there is great potential waiting to be unleashed, if you dig real deep. Keep digging……

      • Dey all headz tilt de same way wassup wit dat. Racism?

    • 1stworlder

      I just flushed something like that a few min ago.

    • kikz2

      shite, she’ll probably end up in Dallas next…

    • Most of them look like mugshots from Ferguson.

      • Ngati Pakeha

        Well done. Quite a college whoops I mean collage. I don’t see one mugshot capturing shame, contrition or sorrow.

        • Douglas Quaid

          Right, all you see is smug defiance or disinterested vacant stares.

      • yo de’marquis wassup homey, u done voted fo yo own sh*t nigga!

        • anony

          You obviously have taken advanced placement ebonics. 🙂

          • Sloppo

            He may regularly listen to those “hooked on ebonics” learning tapes.

        • You sound like J-Roc from Trailer Park Boys.

          • Wow, had to look that up. Then again, I sort of enjoy being disconnected from the media. Cut my cable a few years back and never once regretted it.

      • UnCL3

        They all look alike to me…

    • Douglas Quaid

      Good grief that sack of excrement was making $344,000 a year? Yet the schools are always griping about being underfunded, what a joke. I like the pictures of the faculty, notice how most of them aren’t even smiling? They all look bitter and worn out, like they are angry at the world.

      • dey angry at yo raciss boochit cracka now shuddup an pay yo taxes

    • Dey all headz tilt de same way wassup wit dat. Racism?

  • Melvin Bonzarelli

    I have owned a lot of dogs over the years. So many that I can’t even remember some of their names. Cared for them, walked and played with them, and took them for that final trip to the vet when they became too sick or too old and in pain to go on.
    I also took most of them, the later ones, when I finally had the money, to professional trainers to teach the dogs the basic stuff like ‘sit’, ‘stay’, ‘stand up’, ‘go downstairs to your doggie bed’, etc. the usual. All of the dogs did well except one, a middle-aged beagle I adopted from a shelter. He just couldn’t get the idea, period. Even when the trainer tried to encourage him with treats, he just grabbed the treat and ran off and hid it somewhere for later.
    The trainer finally just gave me my money back. She told me straight out that this dog was just too dumb to learn. That occasionally happens, she said. He was a good dog, was housebroken, and great with children. But anything more complicated than eating he just didn’t get.
    The same is true of certain human populations. Not popular to say, but demonstrably true.

    • IstvanIN

      And some human populations are neither good around children or housebroken.

      • Bobbala

        … or good around dogs!

        • bilderbuster

          And most dogs recognize them for that trait instantly.

    • World_War_Me

      Don’t remember their names???!!!

  • Whitetrashgang

    Its that damn school to prison pipeline again, black people should stay away from those things.

    • Anglokraut

      I can’t think of anything that would improve a school’s test scores more than Blacks refusing to attend that school.

    • 1stworlder

      On some tests blacks actually score lower than you would get with random selection.

      • bilderbuster

        Eeny meeny miny moe can become complicated.

      • tlk244182

        Do you by any chance have a link? Not that I doubt you, I just find the concept fascinating.

  • “It is a witch-hunt against black teachers.”

    Only the ones who falsify test scores.

    “The community did not ask for this sort of prosecution.”

    I don’t care what the ‘community’ asks for. When you take white people’s money, you follow white people’s rules.

    • Douglas Quaid

      Best comment of the day!

  • IstvanIN

    We are back to the days of Alchemy. Trying to make gold out of lead.

    • Lead is more useful than these folks.

      • Whitetrashgang

        I would go with a simple rock or twig. Not a good twig mind you.

      • Strider73

        When the SHTF lead will be extremely useful against these folks.

      • Ngati Pakeha

        Maybe some more of that 7.62 lead you were talking about the other day.

  • 4321realist

    “Test scores climbed so rapidly that its chief, Beverly Hall, was named National Superintendent of the Year in 2009 by the American Assn. of School Administrators.”

    That alone should have raised red flags everywhere.

    Only somebody delusional could expect them to progress any further than they already have…..if it can be said they have progressed……. since they started out dumb and ended up the same way.

    • 1stworlder

      I wonder if Bath House Barry tells people he shot a 17 on an 18 hole golf course.

  • What’s new about blacks in ATL going to prison for hoodrat behavior ??

  • Zimriel

    I don’t know what you’d call someone coaching a student on cheating a test, but “teacher” isn’t it.

  • kikz2

    ……………….din’ dooooo nuffinZ…..

  • bilderbuster

    Does anyone still doubt that with Blacks there is a school to prison pipeline?

  • AndrewInterrupted

    Whether they’re falsifying grades at school or falsifying credentials at
    employers, the diversity darlings will get their pass. That Age of Tokenism.

  • they dint do nuffin…

  • none of your business

    Gov Perdue, is he part of the Perdue chicken company that has hired tens of thousands of illegal hispanic indios and somalian muslims?
    35 tears in prison is ridiculous. I don’t think cheating is a crime. That’s why they had to come up with the racketering charge.

    • crockadoodle6

      There will be blacks on the jury. Not a single person will spend a second in the iron hotel for these offenses. However, they may spend quality county time for their drug arrests, domestic violence, driving w/o a license (for the 20th time), failure to pay child support, theft, simple possession, gun violations, etc. But not for the cheating.

  • none of your business

    I thought it’s nomumsane emphasis on the mum. But then I avoid them like the plague.

  • Douglas Quaid

    Somewhere on Amren a couple of months ago there was an article where the documentary “Drop Out Nation” got mentioned in the comments section, so my wife and I watched it. Frankly I was rather shocked at how much the school was doing for these wastrels. The school had a daycare for their illegitimate children to be placed in while the kids were in class There were also numerous scenes where “at risk” students were picked up at home by people going out of their way to bring these kids to class, this culminated ultimately in one of the administrators letting one student in particular move in with her, which ended in failure as the moron just couldn’t stop getting into fistfights over stupid stuff at school.

    The part of the documentary that really blew me away though, and this is the point, was when this fat talking head white liberal came on and started bawling the tiresome mantra about the schools failing these kids and how they need more funding and resources. My reaction was simply, “What more can they do short of taking the tests for them?!”

    Well, now we have this story.

  • WhiskeyJunkie


  • LHathaway

    It’s interesting that the teachers didn’t just give the student the answers or a kind of cheat sheet listing the questions on the tests ahead of time, but I suppose, the students themselves couldn’t be trusted. They haven’t spent as many years in school yet, as have the teachers.

    • chuck_2012

      the next level of cheating will be more sophisticated.

  • chuck_2012

    I guess cheating is so endemic in black schools that it is almost normal now for them to do so. So Jantavious and D’ Shawn graduate high skoo’ and go to college but are unable to read and cannot write even simple sentences and forget basic mathematics. Then what?

    • 1G25

      Then, with their “credentials,” and their melanin count, they ease a competitive white guy out of consideration for a job.

      • The way I see it, they can have my old job. I sure don’t want it.

        • Anglokraut

          I miss having a job. I haven’t worked in over a year. In that time I’ve had one phone interview, and didn’t get a second. I honestly don’t think I’ll find work until there is some kind of massive deportation effort to get rid of the illegals and their dead-weight anchor-babies.

  • crockadoodle6

    I’m surprised. Most black-on-black crime goes unreported.

  • crockadoodle6

    Separate but equal has a new meaning.

    • chuck_2012

      how far can a group of people dumb themselves down and still function in a modern society? Mosy of them are only fit to be street sweepers and thats insulting to real street sweepers.

  • crockadoodle6

    Instead of cheating they could always just withhold any school records. Didn’t that work for Barry?

  • brior

    The negro can never ever ever ever ever ever be held accountable for their own criminality and station in life.

  • crockadoodle6

    Does anyone think this cheating by blacks for blacks is confined to schools? Every one of them desperately wants to be the HNIC. That requires falsified performance reports, attendance records, continuing education credits, service citations, previous experience, work history, education history, arrest records, etc. Investigate the claims and there is always fraud. Talk openly about it and your job is in jeopardy. Being Black: the ultimate automatic radio toll gate opener to success.

    • none of your business

      True story about a black affirmative action probation officer in San Francisco county back in the early days of affirmative action during the Nixon administration.
      memos went around about long distance phone calls. Then memos about long calls to Pittsburgh. We assumed it was Pittsburgh Pa, 3 thousand miles away. turned out it was Pittsburgh Ca 30 miles away but the guy like most blacks blathered on the phone all day and run up a huge bill. Investigation showed he had dropped out of high school, had a lengthy criminal record including 2nd degree murder (that was when murder in Ca was 7 years 3 1/2 off for good behavior.) He learned about the job right after he got out of prison when he visited his parole officer in Oakland and saw one of those “all women and minorities accepted” on a bulletin board. He applied and was quickly accepted. Were it not for blathering on the phone 7 hours a day he probably would have worked 30 years and retired on a good pension.

  • Malgus

    So… blacks in Atlanta are pencil whipping grades for black “students”. This is news?

    Every legal way to try and close the “education gap” – except actually admitting the obvious: that blacks are one standard deviation behind whites intellectually – has been tried. Mountains of treasure. Busing blacks to white schools. Busing whites to black schools. Forcing blacks and whites into mixed schools built for that purpose. Building schools on the scale of the Taj Mahal, complete with Olympic sized swimming pools, cutting edge new computers, all sorts of shiny things. Whites teaching blacks. Blacks teaching blacks. Etc, etc… NOTHING has worked. So, they resort to bald-faced fraud.

    And they’ve been doing that for years at the University level… star players usually take some brain-dead coursework like “African Studies”, and then never show up. “Somehow” they get straight A’s…

    If you blow the whistle on this institutional fraud, they squeal like piglets, usually hurling pejoratives at the whistle blower or prosecutor, like “raaayciss” or somesuch nonsense… gotta protect their itty bitty “self esteem” at any cost, right?

    Of course, self esteem is just feeling good about yourself, though you have done nothing to feel good about. It is a poor substitute for self respect.

    • anony

      And so we continue to spread the truth across the internet.

      • Malgus

        I guess my cynicism got the better of me. Just seems like we’re the lone voice in the wilderness at times.

        That’s okay. I’d rather be right, and alone, than one of the mewling sheeple, genuflecting at the altar of political correctness in B.R.A.

  • “In one case, a principal was reported to have held erasure parties at her pool.”

    Not unlike the Democratic and Republican poolside erasure parties, trying to disappear fundamental genetic IQ and behavioral differences among the different races.