Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said that thousands of Atlanta Public Schools students were robbed of their education by a cheating scandal. Howard said that some students got a barebones education while teachers were more worried about fixing grades.
A grand jury indicted 35 APS educators on Friday, including former Superintendent Dr. Beverly Hall.
"Dr. Hall had a contract that was set up to pay her bonuses when she achieved certain results. Those results were caused by cheating and the money she received, we are alleging that that money was ill gotten it was theft," said Howard.
Justina Collins said that her daughter was acing state tests, but failing in the classroom at Cascade Elementary. Collins said that she went all the way up to Hall in search of answers as to why.
"Everyone kept telling me, from the school to the Board of Education, that she was just an exceptional child who does well on the test," Collins said.
Juwanna Guffie said that she refused to cheat when her teacher allegedly went student to student and gave the test answers.
"This happened when I was in the fifth, but now I'm in the eight, doing good, but and I still got to live with this the rest of my life," Guffie said.
"This child told her teacher, I don't want your answers. I want to take my own test,'" said Howard.
APS leaders they've put systems in place to prevent this from ever happening again.
"Our job is to take care of children. They weren't being taken care of in this period of time, but they are being taken care of now," said Atlanta School Board Chairman Reuben McDaniel.
Guffie attained the highest possible score on her most recent CRCT reading test.
The 35 people indicted have been told to turn themselves into Fulton County Jail on Tuesday.
205 N. Michigan Avenue Ground Floor Chicago, IL 60601 Station Operator: (312) 565-5532 Newsroom: (312)565-5533