Atlanta Teachers Sent to Jail in Cheating Scandal
11 of 12 Atlanta educators are found guilty
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 1, 2015 4:33 PM CDT
Former Deerwood Academy assistant principal Tabeeka Jordan, center, is led to a holding cell after a jury found her guilty in the Atlanta Public Schools test-cheating trial Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Kent D. Johnson, Pool)
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(Newser) – Atlanta educators convicted in a huge cheating scandal got a quick taste of justice today—the judge sent 10 of them straight to jail after the guilty verdicts were announced, allowing one woman to remain free until sentencing only because she is about to give birth, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. All face serious jail time of 20 years or more, thanks to their convictions on racketeering charges. The 11 teachers and administrators were found guilty of changing student answers on standardized tests in order to boost scores, which in turn helped them secure bonuses and raises. (WGCL has a complete list of the educators and their convictions.)

"They are convicted felons as far as I'm concerned," said Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter. "They have made their bed and they're going to have to lie in it." A defense attorney for former school principal Dana Evans said it was "unnecessary and vindictive" for the judge to have the educators taken into custody immediately, reports AP. Prosecutors say former superintendent Beverly Hall was behind the coordinated cheating, but the once-honored school official did not go on trial because she was battling breast cancer. She died last month. About two dozen other teachers also were implicated, but they struck plea bargains instead of going to trial. One teacher was exonerated today.
 

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