A judge overseeing the case against dozens of Atlanta educators accused of a conspiracy to cheat on standardized tests is expressing concerns about whether their statements to investigators were coerced by investigators. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter addressed prosecutors at a hearing this week, telling them "I am seriously concerned about your case."
A defendant in the Atlanta Public Schools cheating case is asking a judge to disqualify Fulton County prosecutors because the district attorney's wife worked at a school where cheating took place. The motion claims District Attorney Paul Howard's wife, Petrina, was a counselor at M. Agnes Jones Elementary School when the 2009 CRCT was administered and helped distribute tests.
Atlanta Public Schools is notifying parents that it will have to turn over students' education information starting Friday in response to a subpoena. The subpoena is related to the criminal case against former educators who are accused of cheating on standardized tests.
Most of the educators charged in the Atlanta schools cheating scandal are set to appear in court for formal arraignments. A hearing is scheduled for Friday morning before Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter. Baxter also plans to hear arguments from attorneys on both sides and from some media outlets regarding a gag order placed on the defendants in the case.
Atlanta educators accused of crimes in connection with the school system's cheating scandal earned bonuses that totaled as little as $750 and averaged $2,600. Arraignments for the 35 Atlanta Public Schools officials who were indicted in a racketeering conspiracy are set for Friday.
The Atlanta Public Schools system is spending millions on remediation programs to help those directly affected by a massive cheating scandal and others who've simply fallen behind. Officials say the students didn't get the help they needed because their test scores weren't properly recorded.
A lawyer for Beverly Hall says the former Atlanta Public Schools superintendent is innocent and looks forward to having her day in court. Richard Deane said in an interview with The Associated Press Wednesday that the charges against Hall are excessive and that there is no factual basis for them.
Former Atlanta schools superintendent Beverly Hall was released from jail late Tuesday after posting bond. Educators indicted in a test cheating scandal had to surrender at the Fulton County jail by Tuesday, and all but a few met the deadline.
Lawyers for some of the 35 defendants in Atlanta's school cheating scandal say their bonds are unreasonably high. Hurl Taylor, who represents test coordinator Donald Bullock, said his client's $1 million bond amounts to cruel and unusual punishment. Bullock was among the first defendants to surrender at the Fulton County Jail early Tuesday.