Judge rules against defendants in Atlanta cheating case | www.myajc.com

15
Dec

Judge rules against defendants in Atlanta cheating case | www.myajc.com

A judge denied requests Friday to silence potentially damaging testimony against former Atlanta educators accused of cheating on standardized tests.

Lawyers for the defendants argued in court that their clients weren’t part of a scheme to change students’ answers, but Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter rejected their motions to suppress hearsay statements from alleged co-conspirators.

Prosecutors said the teachers and administrators cheated so they could meet high standards set by Superintendent Beverly Hall, who also faces criminal charges, and so they could receive bonus pay for meeting academic targets.

Baxter ruled against former Dunbar Elementary testing coordinator Lera Middlebrooks, former Deerwood Academy Assistant Principal Tabeeka Jordan and former Dobbs Elementary teacher Dessa Curb.

He also denied a motion by former Dunbar Elementary teacher Pamela Cleveland, who had sought to disallow statements given to GBI investigators from being used against her.

Thirty-three defendants remain in the case, which is set to go to trial April 21.

The defendants have until Jan. 6 to broker negotiated plea deals with prosecutors.

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