(ATLANTA) — Ten of the 11 educators found guilty of inflating students’ test scores were sentenced on Tuesday to as many as seven years in jail.
Judge Jerry Baxter adamantly said on Tuesday that he gave each defendant the opportunity to accept their guilt and avoid jail time. “There are hundreds of thousands of children that were harmed in this thing,” he said. “This is not a victimless crime that occurred in the city.”
Two defendants, Donald Bullock, an usher and testing coordinator, and Pamela Cleveland, a teacher accepted plea deals. Each received five years of probation. Bullock will also serve six months of weekend time in county jail, while Cleveland will serve one year of home confinement. They will each also do community service and pay a fine.
The harshest sentences were given to Sharon Davis-Williams and Tamara Cotman, school resource team executive directors. They were each sentenced to 20 years in prison — they will serve seven and receive probation for the remaining 13 years. Each woman was also ordered to do 2,000 hours of community service and pay a $25,000 fine.
Prosecutors found that cheating on a specific test occurred at 44 of 56 schools examined, including at least 179 teachers and principals. They accused teachers of altering test scores as far back as 2001.
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