A private investigator hired by the Atlanta Public Schools says his 2006 probe found cheating at Parks Middle School. That was the testimony heard today as week two of the cheating trial continues. Prosecutors focused on evidence alleging district officials purposely ignored that report.
In 2006, Reginald Dukes, an outside investigator was asked to look into allegations of cheating and corruption at Parks. It came after anonymous letters cited misconduct under Principal Christopher Waller. Duke’s findings were revealed in his report about cheating on an 8th grade writing test.
A testing expert took the stand Wednesday in the Atlanta Public Schools cheating trial. Some defense attorneys questioned the state’s investigation. That was triggered after an analysis found an unusual number of erasures on state tests at several APS schools.
Gregory Cizek has written books about preventing and detecting cheating. Defense Attorney Benjamin Davis, who represents a former key administrator, questioned Cizek about the use of data.
Rose Scott is covering the trial of the 12 former Atlanta Public Schools educators accused of a conspiracy to raise school scores by changing the answers on student tests. The trial enters its second day of testimony today.
Here are Rose's tweets from the morning of Tuesday, September 30. They are arranged in chronological order.
Prosecutors say 12 former Atlanta Public Schools educators and administrators cheated, lied and stole as part of a widespread but cleverly disguised conspiracy that affected thousands of students.
In opening statements, prosecutor Fani Willis told jurors in Fulton County Superior Court that they would hear from current and former APS students, teachers, parents and administrators in the coming weeks. The trial is expected to last months. Opening statements for the defendants' attorneys will begin Monday afternoon.
A Fulton County judge Monday heard arguments on whether the presiding judge in the Atlanta Public Schools cheating trial should recuse himself from the case.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Shawn Ellen LaGrua is now weighing the arguments concerning Judge Jerry Baxter.
Attorneys for the 13 remaining APS defendants argue Baxter wrongly contacted the Court of Appeals in order to sway the outcome of a motion filed by defendant Tamara Cotman. They also allege Baxter wrongly defended his actions to the media after the calls were made known to the defense.
A Fulton County Superior Court judge Monday granted a 4 month delay in the Atlanta Public Schools cheating trial against former superintendent Dr. Beverly Hall. That means the trial will start in August instead of this month. Attorneys for Hall called for a delay due to Hall’s medical condition. She has Stage IV breast cancer.
TWEETS FROM THE COURTROOM: After a hearing where he heard competing views of Dr. Beverly Hall's health, Judge Jerry Baxter ruled that he will delay the trial of Dr. Hall until August because of her health.
Dr. Hall's oncologist, Dr. Laura Weakland of Georgia Cancer Specialists, testified about Dr. Hall's health at the request of Judge Baxter. Dr. Hall has been diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer, and her lawyers had requested a delay of her trial.
Attorneys for former Atlanta Schools Superintendent Dr. Beverly Hall have asked a Fulton County Superior Court Judge to move the Atlanta schools test cheating trial.
Jury selection has always been scheduled for April 28th. But today, Hall’s attorneys asked Fulton County Superior Court Judge Judge Jerry Baxter to delay the trial until after the conclusion of Hall’s current medical regimen.
In an affidavit, an oncologist for Dr. Hall said the former Superintendent has stage 4 breast cancer. The oncologist also said that cancer is not curable but treatable.
Friday, February 21, 2014 was the deadline day for 15 remaining Atlanta educators indicted in the cheating scandal, to enter negotiated pleas. But only two agreed to deals. Both had worked at Parks Middle School. Former principal Christopher Waller and former testing coordinator Sandra Ward are expected to testify for the prosecution. Of the two, Waller faced more serious charges. He followed his plea with an emotional apology in open court. WABE's Rose Scott was there, and she talked about the day's events with WABE's Denis O'Hayer.
Friday, February 21, 2014 is the deadline for defendants in the Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal case to decide whether they want to make plea deals with the prosecution, or go to trial. Days before, prosecutors reached a deal with former human resources chief Millicent Few, one of the top-ranking officials under indictment. Few is expected to testify that she witnessed criminal acts by then-superintendent Dr. Beverly Hall. Hall's attorneys strongly deny she did anything wrong, and say she expects to clear her name at trial.
On Monday, Millicent Few, the former human resources director of the Atlanta Public Schools, agreed to a plea deal with the Fulton County District attorney’s office.
"I just want to sincerely apologize to the citizens of Atlanta and specifically the students and their parents for my role in this matter. It’s taken a toll on my family, my support network and myself. I just want to apologize to them and I look forward to hopefully moving on with my life.”
Few has agreed to testify on behalf of the state in its case against former APS superintendent Dr. Beverly Hall.
With time running short before a trial begins, some of the 35 defendants in the Atlanta Public Schools cheating case are negotiating with Fulton County prosecutors on possible plea deals. One defendant, Lisa Terry, has admitted to making false statements; she received 12 months' probation. But on Thursday, December 12, 2013, another defendant rejected a plea offer. Sandra Ward is the former testing coordinator at Parks Middle School. Her attorney, Page Pate, spoke with WABE's Denis O'Hayer.
Jury foreman Greg Pollock (right) and fellow juror Ben Emerson speak to reporters outside the Fulton County Courthouse following the acquittal of former Atlanta Public Schools executive director Tamara Cotman on charges of influencing a witness.
On Friday, September 6, 2013, after nearly 3 weeks of testimony, a Fulton County jury found former Atlanta Public Schools executive director Tamara Cotman not guilty on charges of influencing a witness.
Cotman was accused of pressuring school administrators not to cooperate with the GBI investigation into cheating at APS. WABE's Denis O'Hayer spoke with jury foreman Greg Pollock.
The first defendant connected to Atlanta's school cheating scandal has been found not guilty on a single count of influencing a witness. The verdict from the Fulton County Superior Court jury came late Friday morning.
Tamara Cotman was a school administrator who oversaw 21 schools in Atlanta. She and 33 others still face charges of racketeering.
The acquittal comes after a three-week trial as prosecutors are still preparing for the racketeering cases.