Georgia will become one of 10 states to participate in a federal program aimed at improving the way students get free or reduced-price lunches at school. At least two school districts in metro Atlanta — Clayton County Schools and Atlanta Public Schools — have signed up so far for the Community Eligibility Option.
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.