Prison Sentences for Eight Former Atlanta Educators in Test-Cheating Scandal

David Beasley, Yahoo! News, April 14, 2015

Eight former Atlanta public school educators were ordered on Tuesday to serve between one and seven years in prison for their convictions on racketeering charges in one of the nation’s largest test-cheating scandals.

{snip}

Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter gave three of the 11 educators convicted in the scandal 20-year sentences, with seven years to be served in prison and the rest on probation.

Five educators received five-year sentences, with two ordered to serve two years in prison and three to serve one year.

“There were thousands of children that were harmed in this thing,” Baxter said during a rancorous hearing.

“It’s like the sickest thing that’s ever happened to this town,” he later said of the scandal that raised national alarm about high-stakes testing.

Two convicted educators, who apologized in court under agreements with prosecutors, received lighter punishments.

One must serve six months of weekends in jail and five years of probation. The other avoided jail and was sentenced to five years probation, with one year of an evening home curfew.

{snip}

Baxter urged the defendants on Monday to consider plea deals requiring them to accept responsibility in exchange for limited prison time. But they would have given up rights to appeal, a sticking point.

Many, if not all, of the eight educators facing prison will appeal, their attorneys said.

{snip}

A Georgia grand jury in 2013 roiled the community by indicting 35 Atlanta educators, including former school Superintendent Beverly Hall, on conspiracy and other charges.

Twelve of the educators went on trial, and 11 were convicted. Hall died of breast cancer this year.

{snip}

While cheating has been reported in 40 states and Washington, D.C., in recent years, educators do not usually serve prison time, according to Bob Schaeffer, education director for the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, a nonprofit known as FairTest.

Parent Colleen Bates said her daughter had to repeat two grades after her test scores were inflated during the scandal.

“I have no pity for what happened today,” Bates said.

{snip}

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  • Whitetrashgang

    Well there goes trying to get my pet pig to fly experiments, although at a certain point it seemed like it could work if only I tried harder and faster, or some such.

    • Anglokraut

      Or got more government funding. Or you found a pig that could already fly, and got that pig to teach your pig, because you can’t possibly think like a flying pig.

    • Earl P. Holt III

      Try teaching them Latin: They’ll learn it before the nigros learn to tie their shoes…

  • LexiconD1

    Hmm, anybody know if they lost their teaching licenses? Neither article says.

    • Bon, From the Land of Babble

      I was looking for that too. Whenever IDIOT teachers are fired for moral turpitude (translation: molesting students, sex with students) – loss of teaching license is always mentioned. Read three articles and didn’t see mention of it – which means they probably didn’t.

      Judge is also going to expunge their records when they’re done serving their sentences: Judge Baxter eventually agreed to let all the defendants qualify for first-offender status, after initially denying it for some.

      That means their records can be wiped clean once they’ve completed their sentences.

    • Earl P. Holt III

      They are usually given “Teacher of the Year ” awards by the local N.E.A. affiliate…

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    All I want from any of these people is to take responsibility, but they refuse,said Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter. Everybody starts crying about these educators. This was not a victimless crime that occurred in this city!

    Baxter told one of the lawyers for the defense:

    Everybody knew cheating was going on and your client promoted it!

    I’m sure those black educators thought it was someone else’s fault or the fault of White America.

    Ask Brittany Cooper over at Salon:

    The system is stacked against black teachers and arresting them for their crimes is simply racist and doesn’t help anything: “Locking up Black women under the guise of caring about Black children is an unbelievable move in an educational environment that systematically denies both care and opportunity to black children.

    Cheating black teachers, according to Cooper, are better than honest white teachers.

    Yes, this is the same Brittany Cooper, who also accused a white person of racism because he sat next to her on a train.

    Baxter eventually agreed to let all the defendants qualify for first-offender status, after initially denying it for some. That means their records can be wiped clean once they’ve completed their sentences.

    There’ll be a place waiting for each of them on the Atlanta Board Trustees or in the Dept. of Education

    • propagandaoftruth

      Not that I care about the offenders, but we know cheating is the only way majority-minority districts can turn blacks into whites…

      HA HA HA!

      Nothing to see here folks.

      • Albert

        Cheating or lowering the bar. Politicians can’t seem to get it through their heads that you cannot legislate biological equality.

        • propagandaoftruth

          Marxists believe in Marxist science.

      • MooTieFighter

        but why didn’t they just cheat the legal way, Affirmative Action?

    • Earl P. Holt III

      It was all Bush’s fault…

      • Realist

        Bush did plenty to promote this stupidity.

        • Earl P. Holt III

          I hate him too, but he’s hardly responsible for this fiasco. (I was being facetious…)

          • Realist

            Well he is to some degree. He was a big promoter of ‘No Idiot Left Behind’.

          • Earl P. Holt III

            You’ve got a point: If you can’t leave the idiots behind (nigros) then there is increased pressure to cheat on their behalf. I stand corrected…

    • Blackfish

      I also saw no mention of a pension reduction or forfeiture. Based on the picture of the miscreants below, I’m guessing several will be drawing generous pensions in the near future.

    • MooTieFighter

      He was willing to give them a less harsh sentence if they would just admit their wrong doing, but most all of them would not. No pity from me.

  • TheMaskedUnit

    Now that the change grade option has been removed, they can always remove that racist “Put your name at the top” question to get them to pass …

  • TheMaskedUnit

    How about trying a maximum white grade of 60? There is no way that would be a crime.

    • Alden

      That is the “adjusted”score of Whites after the affirmative action
      Subtracting of points from Whites and adding points to the scores of blacks is finished

  • Muh teacha dindu nuffins. Y’all crackas be racist.

    • Jason Lewis

      There’s a blonde. Top row second from the left.

      • Anglokraut

        I don’t know many natural blondes with Brillo-pad hair.

        • John Smith

          Some Aboriginals and Melanesians are.

        • Albert

          Are you sure that isn’t pubic hair?

      • Rob

        I see an Asian on the bottom right

    • dukem1

      We need more black educators because they serve as role models.

      • John Smith

        For future felonies.

    • Earl P. Holt III

      Let’s see: Australopithecus, Homo Habilis, Piltdown Woman, Java Woman, Neanderthal Woman, Homo Erectus, and an eclectic mix of several species of Old World Ape…

      • InAFreeCountry

        I see zero Neanderthal genes in that pool.

        • Earl P. Holt III

          What ’bout dat bright one in de middle…?

  • superlloyd

    Where are the black school districts where blacks don’t cheat?

    • Vyncennt

      Firmly entrenched in the imaginations of progressives worldwide.

    • dukem1

      prolly most of them, actually…the kids are to stupid to cheat and the edumacationists are too lazy to help them do it.

    • InAFreeCountry

      In the land of unicorns.

      • bv

        Is that where they invented the knock out game?

  • Christopher Perrien

    The real crime was hiring and paying these people a salary to begin with.

    • libertarian1234

      Right on.

      And maybe go back even further to the schools responsible for their being certified when probably just one or two could pass a qualification test to teach….period.

      I think it was N.J. who, a few years back, retested their teachers and the failure rate was phenomenal. They didn’t give the percentages by race, but I think it’s safe to say they were probably all black.

      • Albert

        Sounds like an excellent idea: test the teachers to make sure they are qualified.

    • Earl P. Holt III

      Probably federal court-ordered “Deseg” mandates, as they were in St. Louis. This Affirmative-Action may well be the most destructive and pernicious element of deseg, nationwide, because it forces school districts to hire black women who are really only qualified for “domestic work.”

      That’s why I frequently comment that we have turned the public schools over to the dumbest, laziest, least qualified and most functionally-illiterate people in the history of education…

    • GAWZ

      It was either that or get sued, put into prison, be black listed (name other bad things the gubmint can do to you for defying them).

  • dukem1

    Hard to imagine how dumb a kid must be to have to repeat 2 grades.
    Perhaps mom and dad should have asked a few questions at the dinner table to determine the childs’ intellectual development.

    Just kiddin’!!! I know the score.

    • bv

      Touché!

    • Alden

      Arthur Jensen
      40 percent of blacks have IQs below 80 15 percent below 80

      Says it all

  • Ellis Kurtz

    Cheating is not different in principle from Affirmative Action. Or from MLK’s plagiarism.

  • libertarian1234

    Very few blacks graduate high school that can read their diplomas beyond their names, with fewer even still who can do basic math, because of AA in grading and certification, so I can’t see why allowing black students or teachers to cheat on tests is harming them in any way.

    Whether they cheat or the teachers cheat, or they are awarded a diploma via AA, the end result is the same: They learn almost nothing and are incompetent.

    • bv

      It’s just window dressing for an AA government job.

    • Blackfish

      “Social promotion” policies permit students to graduate pretty much as long as they continue to show up for class. My gripe with this scandal was that it was clearly designed to bilk the government out of more funding, which was used to pay teachers merit bonuses. To me, this is not fundamentally different than the Medicare scams we read about in the papers.

  • Earl P. Holt III

    Of the thousands of blacks I met as a slumlord in north St. Louis over the course of 30 years, I can honestly say that I met (maybe) five or six who were not working some sort of scam or fraud. This sort of fraud (cheating) is commonplace in large, public school systems, where the teachers and administrators tend to be nigros…

    • bv

      That’s my dream.

      • Earl P. Holt III

        What? To find an honest one…?

        • Blackfish

          To be a slumlord!

          • Earl P. Holt III

            It’s not as “glamorous” as it may sound: My accountant told me that I probably made the equivalent of the Minimum Wage, if all the hours I invested were taken into account…

          • carriewhite64

            Same here. Basically a slumlord for years. Minimum wage, considering the 24-hour responsibilities. I have turned the corner in the last couple of years, but I have decades behind me of earning minimum wage and working round the clock.

          • Earl P. Holt III

            Ditto to all that: How many times were you “shot at” by them? (21 times for me…)

          • carriewhite64

            Oh, God, no. You actually were a bonafide slumlord. I guess I am not. I live in a medium sized town and there is only one large apartment complex in the town. So my properties are all small houses or trailers in semi-bad neighborhoods. I don’t go to any property at night nor do I attend evictions personally. I have a large intimidating male business partner. We have worked together for years, and have a logical separation of duties, you might say haha. My tenants are 50% white, 50% black. None of my properties are Section 8. I deal with all applications, collections, paperwork, taxes, maintenance, cleaning, tenant complaint and conflicts, and other countless details. You know what I mean, I think.My years of landlording have given me a very cynical view of human nature, and I am seriously thinking of getting out of the gig. My partner wants out, and I don’t want to do it by myself. I like having a partner. Rents are high and going up in my area, but housing prices are rising, too, and I think I can make a good profit if I sell. I do have other ways to make a living, and I just might turn back into the sweet girl I used to be LOL. I really enjoyed landording at the beginning, just getting weary of the job. But it was a great way to support my four kids, since I was a young widow. I bet you and I could swap some stories! Some tragic, some infuriating, some hilarious, right?

          • Earl P. Holt III

            My advice would be to hang on until Ted Cruz is elected President, and then after the inevitable recovery, sell them when the market is better…

          • Earl P. Holt III

            Postscript: I didn’t accept Section 8, either…not a dime. ALL my tenants were black.

          • Alden

            Property is nothing but a financial drain until you sell it. I looked at buying a 2 or 3 flat hoping to at least make the property taxes
            But all I heard from the real estate agents was what a great tax deduction a set of flats would be

            But I was looking at just a little income every month not draining my paycheck from my family to the never ending. costs of rental buildings

  • John Smith

    The woman above’s daughter may have had to repeat two grades, but I doubt much else changed in the ultimate outcome.

  • E. Newton

    How can a sane society incarcerate these educators of color? Our young black men and women love to learn and we are removing their most dedicated black teachers and administrators? It’s just wrong. There is simply no race on earth as dedicated to knowledge as our Afro-americans. They cannot drink fast enough from the beaker of learning. Please let our people of color learn and advance. There is nothing more gratifying than watching a room full of young, inquisitive Afro-americans pursue their dedication to knowledge. These young people of color are an important part of the diverse tapestry that is America.

    • bv

      Said no one ever.

    • Earl P. Holt III

      Some day, you may find your words repeated in some award the spooks give each other for learning to tie their shoes (“bunny-ears,”) or something of the kind…

  • bubo

    Holder or Obama set them free, just watch. They’ll get their jobs back, with back pay and bonus. They’re gonna be leasing a new C-class and hittin’ da club for dranks in no time flat.

    • GAWZ

      Because cracka stuff like studying, working and paying taxes is for YT.

    • Albert

      Maybe even reverse the situation and press for a lawsuit on behalf of the teachers.

    • bv

      He’s got a lot of defective pieces to let free. How many get out of jail free cards does the POTUS get to have?

  • GAWZ

    I wonder how many of those “educators” are going to be replaced by non black people? My bet is ‘zero’ and I’m willing to give odds.

  • Spikeygrrl

    Good riddance to bad rubbish.

    • chuck_2012

      until the next gang is in position.

  • Hilis Hatki

    These teachers knew the type of students they had to work with and they were just ‘keeping it real. How many times do you keep a kid in the same grade? I bet this type of cheating is rampant in many schools. School’s number one function is to provide jobs and community lifestyles, real education is down the list.

    • carriewhite64

      You forgot baby-sitting and free meals.

  • slobotnavich

    What kind of sheer insanity is this?!! These educators should have been fired, at worst, but convicted of a felony? Have we lost our collective national national mind? This is something one would might have expected from one of Stalin’s infamous show trials of the Thirties. Education in America has been dumbed down, subverted, and in some cases downright perverted, but these transgressions against the taxpayers and their charges should be handled by firing the responsible teachers and adminstrators and not by criminalizing failure and incompetence. If we followed to its natural conclusion every American pol, from the president on down, would be in prison or standing before a firing squad.

    • LackawannaErie

      Congress has been passing new laws since the 80’s that have made almost everything, including many regulatory violations, felonies. Making a mistake on government paperwork can send you to prison for years. The war on drugs started this, but it carried over into every kind of legislation. No other country in the world has such long prison terms for many crimes.

      • slobotnavich

        I believe it was Cicero (someone out there kindly correct me if it wasn’t) who said a couple thousand years ago, “A corrupt society has many laws,” a profound observation and one which been repeatedly verified throughout history, though never more thoroughly than by the current US federal apparatus.

    • Alden

      I agree even probation but years in prison when black thugs get out in 2 years? Vicious and insane

      • slobotnavich

        Well, obviously, black teachers are exempt from these insane rulings.

  • MooTieFighter

    Black school with such high grades was really a dead give away.

    • chuck_2012

      Absolutely.

  • Michael Robert Ryan

    To be completely fair, a 20 year sentence is pretty draconian for this kind of crime. That’s not to say they shouldn’t be punished, but the punishment should fit the crime.

    • Their problem was the fact that they received pay bonuses for these fraudulent test results meant that felony theft charges instantly applied. In addition, since they conspired together to do it, racketeering charges were also filed. If I steal more than $500, it constitutes “grand theft”, but if you and I and a bunch of our co-workers get together and all do it, it’s instantly a conspiracy as well.

      • TheMaskedUnit

        They were damned if they did and damned if they didn’t. Might as well get paid. Truth was outlawed, as it is racist.

    • tetrapod

      Not to worry. Dracoonian punishment will follow, ie, they’ll get a break somewhere along the way …reparations for slavery.

  • Eagle1212

    The way of life in the beautiful lovely city of Atlanta, what a surprise. Not!

  • Rob

    ‘Parent Colleen Bates said her daughter had to repeat two grades after her test scores were inflated during the scandal.”
    Wow, I really feel sorry for that poor girl having to miss two years of her life to repeat two grades for no fault of hers.

  • Rob

    I used to teach at a college and it was mostly filled with black people who were there thanks to affirmative action and black scholarships. Most of them were nice, but they along with some white girls demanded freebies. The boys/men in the class were well behaved. I guess they were emasculated or intimidated by the majority women. The handwriting and spelling were so atrocious, that I used to take more time grading their papers. One negress spelled mosquito as muskqueeta and do not get me started with the usage of Ebonics when writing term papers and exams. ‘is’ instead of ‘are’, ‘dat’ instead of ‘that’ and so on and so forth.
    I got fed up and left after a while, when I saw no progress. No wonder this country is going down the tubes

    • chuck_2012

      These people are about as dumbed down as one can get in an advanced society. How they manage to remain ignorant and stupid is beyond me. Its almost a defence to be stupid and then no one expects anything from them. From a lack of ability to pronounce many words in the English language, an infantile mindset and a refusal to accept responsibility for his/her actions negros are a failure by any measure. Even uneducated mexicans trying to make it in America are further ahead as the second generation often come to grips with the society quite well. Take away affirmative action and they have no job opportunities.

      • Rob

        and some of them wanted to be nurses. God knows how many they have killed by now.

      • Rob

        Not exactly, the Mexicans may seem assimilated, but they still hold on to their Spanish and also support Mexico. They do want affirmative action stuff as well.

  • rebelcelt

    “There were thousands of children that were harmed in this thing,” Baxter said during a rancorous hearing.

    Hmmmm, exactly how were they harmed?…
    We Whites are harmed and those poor teachers were just trying to accomplished the impossible. They are charged with making Black kids perform as well as White kids academically. whites are harmed because we must advance blacks in society beyond their ability in Affirmative Action. Millions of White and especially White men have been cheated out of jobs because of this lie.

  • Alden

    Obsolete farm equipment haven’t seen that for a while OFE pronounced Oder
    I love it