The Atlanta Schools Cheating Scandal: How Did We Get Here?

By Corey Mitchell — April 02, 2015 1 min read
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If you haven’t been following the Atlanta schools cheating scandal for the past five years, you may be wondering how 11 former school district employees ended up facing prison time for erasing and changing students answers on state tests.

What started out as an investigation of abnormally high increases in student test scores evolved into what experts believe is the longest and most complex academic misconduct case in U.S. history.

With teachers and administrators, including a superstar superintendent turned scapegoat, facing charges typically reserved for organized crime, the investigation, indictments and trial captivated educators from coast to coast.

To help you understand what happened and why, here are links to just a few of the Education Week stories on the scandal, investigation, and fallout:

Feds Probe Atlanta Test Cheating Concerns - September 27, 2010

Report Details ‘Culture of Cheating’ in Atlanta Schools - July 8, 2011

Cheating Scandals Intensify Focus on Test Pressures - August 4, 2011

Atlanta Cheating Scandal’s Tentacles Said to Reach Far - April 16, 2013

Atlanta Cheating Trial: Former Governor Says Test Fraud Had To Be ‘Conspiratorial’ - November 12, 2014

Atlanta Educators Threatened Students Against Reporting Cheating, Jury Told - December 12, 2014

Beverly Hall, Former Atlanta Chief Indicted in Cheating Scandal, Dies - March 2, 2015

Atlanta Educators Convicted in Test-Cheating Scandal - April 2, 2015

For devoted readers, here’s a link to more of our past coverage of the Atlanta schools, the cheating scandal and former Superintendent Beverly Hall’s tenure and resignation.

Photo credit: Georgia Professional Standards Commission members Meredith Hodges, right, and Bill Haskin, take part in a vote to revoke the teaching licenses of eight teachers and three school administrators accused in the Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal on Oct. 13, 2011 in Atlanta. --David Goldman/AP-File

A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.