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Eleven Atlanta Educators Have Been Convicted for Cheating Conspiracy, Revealing the Dangers of Standardized Testing

The Journal-Constitution’s findings prompted a two-year-long state investigation into the issue, which concluded that nearly 180 educators, including roughly three dozen principals, had engaged in wrongdoing as part of efforts to manipulate kids’ performance metrics and exaggerate achievement levels at at least 44 schools. Then, in 2013, a grand jury indicted 35 educators, including Hall, on various charges including racketeering and theft. Most of them pleaded guilty to lesser charges, but a dozen of them opted to go to trial, which lasted roughly half a year and saw more than 100 witnesses taking the stand, their testimonies totaling thousands of pages. (Two defendants, including Hall, died before they could stand trial.) One former elementary school teacher, Dessa Curb, was acquitted of all charges; the rest of them, however, now face sentences ranging from five to 20 years in prison.