Atlanta schools cheating scandal: 11 of 12 defendants convicted

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ATLANTA — All but one of 12 defendants charged with racketeering and other crimes in the Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal were convicted Wednesday.

In 2013, a Fulton County grand jury indicted 35 educators from the district, including principals, teachers and testing coordinators.

More than 20 former school system employees took a plea deal, WGCL reported.

A state review had determined that some cheating had occurred in more than half the district’s elementary and middle schools. About 180 teachers at 44 schools were implicated initially.

The cheating is believed to date back to early 2001, when standardized testing scores began to turn around in the 50,000-student school district, according to the 2013 indictment.

Investigations into the remarkable improvements on standardized tests were first reported by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper. in 2008.

Beverly Hall, the superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools who resigned in 2010, died last month. She repeatedly denied any direct knowledge of wrongdoing.

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