More Guilty Pleas in Atlanta Cheating Case; Former Schools Chief to Stand Trial
Six more educators indicted in the test-cheating case in the Atlanta public schools pleaded guilty in a hearing on Monday, agreeing to lesser charges in exchange for their cooperation with prosecutors.
In the same hearing, former Atlanta Superintendent Beverly Hall—a one-time national superintendent of the year—stood by her not guilty plea in the racketeering conspiracy and will proceed toward a jury trial later this year, according to a report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Monday's six negotiated plea deals from teachers, a school secretary, and one principal follow those of several other former Atlanta educators. A Fulton County, Ga., jury indicted 35 educators early last year—including Ms. Hall—in a sprawling conspiracy case that accused them of changing students' standardardized test scores or giving correct answers in an effort to make the school district's academic performance look better than it was.
A handful of additional defendants, including the district's former director of human resources, are still negotiating with prosecutors on plea deals, according to the Journal-Constitution. The remaining defendants, including Hall, will face trial in the coming months, where they are certain to hear former colleagues testify against them.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter, who is presiding over the case, promised a fair trial, but aso warned that there would be severe consequences for defendants who are convicted, according to the Journal-Constitution.