Eight of 10 former Atlanta public school educators were sentenced to jail time Tuesday after only two took advantage of an extra day to negotiate deals with prosecutors. CBS News reports that one former teacher was given one year of home confinement, and a former testing coordinator will spend six months of weekends in jail as a result of the cheating scandal, which Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter called “like the sickest thing that’s ever happened in this town.”
A state investigation found that as far back as 2005, educators from the 50,000-student Atlanta school system fed answers to students or erased and changed answers on tests after they were turned in. Evidence of cheating was found in 44 schools with nearly 180 educators involved, and teachers who tried to report it were threatened with retaliation.
In 2013, 35 educators were indicted on charges including racketeering, making false statements and theft. Many pleaded guilty before the trial, and some testified at the months-long trial. The jury acquitted one of the 12 former educators who went to trial and convicted the other 11 of racketeering.
It wasn’t long before a protest/prayer vigil was set up in front of the courthouse.
There goes the prison bus.