Apr 19, 2022 - News

APS educators convicted in cheating scandal appeal ruling

Illustration of a pattern of gavels.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The Georgia Supreme Court will hear an appeal today from six former Atlanta Public Schools employees convicted in the massive cheating scandal that sent shock waves around the country.

  • The employees, who were found guilty in 2015 for their roles in the scandal, are appealing a trial court ruling that denied a request made by their attorney to withdraw from the case due to a conflict of interest. The Supreme Court justices will determine whether the attorney’s request is applicable.

Flashback: Suspicion began to swirl after a 2008 AJC article questioned the dramatic rise in test scores for some Atlanta schools.

In February 2010, the State BOE opened an investigation into potential cheating in nearly 200 schools across Georgia, including 58 in Atlanta, according to an AJC timeline of the scandal.

A report written by state investigators implicated 178 teachers and administrators at 44 schools, the AJC said at the time.

  • Nearly two dozen teachers and at least one principal were eventually reinstated to their positions and 150 educators either resigned, lost their appeals or retired.

A total of 35 educators, including Superintendent Beverly Hall, were indicted and 21 entered guilty pleas. Thirteen opted to stand for trial.

  • Of the 11 educators who were convicted, two appealed their convictions, but they exhausted their appeals and served their sentences, the AJC reports.

What happened to the students: Some students affected by the scandal were promoted to the next grade level, despite not being able to do the required schoolwork, the AJC adds.

  • The school district launched a program called Target 2021 to help the roughly 3,000 students who were enrolled at the time of the cheating scandal graduate high school, according to WABE.

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