Judge hands down brutal sentences in Atlanta test “cheating” case | News for the Revolution

Merican Public Education!

It isn’t bad enough that Merican educators make less money than most other educators around the world. And it isn’t bad enough that Merican educators have to put up with moron businessmen and women on their local school boards. And it isn’t bad enough that Merican educators teach in a society where most parents could care less about their children’s education, or their children. And it isn’t bad enough that Merican educators constantly have to teach to a ‘standardized test’, instead of teaching subject-matter and the applied use thereof. It isn’t bad enough that Merican educators, if they don’t meet these corporate-like, ‘standardized testing’ quotas, are then threatened with fines or losing their careers. No, none of this is as bad as what is happening to many Merican educators now: Merican educators are being dragged into kangaroo courts, where shyster judges are verbally abusing them, as if they were criminals, and then sentencing them to prison and steep fines. And for what?

Read the following article and find out:

Judge hands down brutal sentences in Atlanta test “cheating” case

By Jerry White and Kranti Kumara

April 15, 2015

World Socialist Web Site

A Fulton County superior court judge on Tuesday handed down severe prison sentences to 10 former school administrators, principals and elementary school teachers for their role in a citywide test cheating scandal at the Atlanta Public Schools.

The educators and one other teacher were convicted April 1 for inflating test scores in 2009. The case has highlighted the relentless promotion of standardized tests by the Obama administration and both big business parties to justify the attacks on the jobs, living standards and work conditions of public school teachers along with the further diversion of resources to for-profit charter operations.

The case was brought by county prosecutors in what the Atlanta Journal-Constitution—which backs the vendetta—called a “novel use” of state racketeering laws normally reserved for organized crime activities such as such as prostitution, counterfeiting or illegal drugs and weapons trafficking.

To the gasps of courtroom onlookers on Tuesday morning, Judge Jerry Baxter announced maximum 20-year sentences for three former school administrators—Tamara Cotman, 44; Sharon Davis-Williams, 59; and Michael Pitts, 59—that include seven years in prison, 13 years on probation, fines of $25,000 each and 2,000 hours of community service.

Dobbs Elementary School teacher Angela Williams, 49, and assistant principal of Deerwood Academy Tabeeka Jordan, 43, were sentenced to five years, including two years in prison, three years probation, 1,500 hours of community service and a $5,000 fine.

Former principal of Dobbs Elementary School Dana Evans, 48; testing coordinator at Benteen Elementary Theresia Copeland, 58; and former Dunbar Elementary teacher Diane Buckner-Webb, 53, were sentenced to five years with one in prison, the balance on probation, 1,000 hours of community service and a $1,000 fine.

Another Dunbar Elementary School teacher, 31-year-old Shani Robinson, only escaped sentencing because she gave birth over the weekend. She faces sentencing in August with the threat of being separated from her newborn child hanging over her head.

An investigation by the Georgia governor’s office acknowledged that the Atlanta educators were subjected to a “culture of fear, intimidation and retaliation” in the school district, overseen by then-Superintendent Beverly Hall. Teachers faced humiliation, demotion and even dismissal if they did not meet student achievement targets measured by tests.

Hall was awarded the 2009 National Superintendent of the Year by the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) for “transforming the 102-school system through a comprehensive reform agenda.” She was convicted in the testing scandal but died of breast cancer last month.

Judge Baxter was visibly enraged by the public sympathy for the educators whose families and friends packed the courtroom Monday to demand leniency. When spectators reacted with horror to his sentencing, the judge angrily blurted, “Everyone starts crying about these educators. There were thousands of children harmed in this thing. This is not a victimless crime…When you are passed and you can’t read, you are passed and passed on, there are victims that are in the jail that I have sentenced, kids.”

The argument that unaltered test scores would have led to immediate intervention to help at-risk children with expanded services is an utter fraud. Like public school districts across the country, the Atlanta schools have slashed thousands of jobs, shut dozens of schools and cut essential programs. In 2012 alone, APS wiped out at least 350 teaching and support staff positions.

The testing regime that has been at the center of Atlanta’s “school reform”—financed through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation—has one purpose only: to scapegoat teachers for educational problems caused by decades of budget cuts and an increasing proportion of students suffering from poverty, and to justify the further privatization of public education.

Last week, attorney Sanford Wallack who represented now retired special education teacher Dessa Curb—the only defendant acquitted of all charges in the case—likened the years-long probe by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to the Salem witch-hunt trials.

In an email statement to the World Socialist Web Site after the sentencing, Wallack said, “I am greatly disappointed that both the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office and the Court felt that any period of incarceration was an appropriate sentence for any of the defendants in this case.

Based on my experience as a criminal defense attorney for over 20 years and in my opinion, the facts and circumstances of these individuals and in this case—the same factors that courts routinely consider in determining sentences in criminal cases throughout the State of Georgia on a regular basis—do not warrant any term of incarceration, but rather warrant sentences of probation at worst. I am thankful, however, that the Court ultimately relented in granting appeal bonds and look forward to the appellate courts’ review of the case.”

Well aware that the case is a damning condemnation of the Obama administration’s anti-education policies, sections of the political establishment cautioned Judge Baxter to avoid prison sentences. This includes former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young, who said 20 years of emphasis on testing had warped public schools’ mission and set a “trap” for the educators.

[…]

This is class justice. While police can get away with murder and the real racketeers who are conspiring to destroy public education or who wrecked the economy and waged wars based on lies are never held to account, the full weight of the capitalist courts is levied against the working class. Particular vindictiveness is reserved for any section of workers who dare defy the state and uphold their democratic rights… (emphasis added)

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via Judge hands down brutal sentences in Atlanta test “cheating” case | News for the Revolution.

{Note: in a country where 56 million unborn babies have been murdered (‘aborted’), and black children are gunned down, regularly, by fascist storm-troopers, it is absolute hypocrisy, absolute political bullshit, for this judge to infer that these educators have perpetrated a crime against the children they were NOT ALLOWED TO TEACH! These administrators and educators were forced by a corrupt, evil system into ‘cheating’, in order to keep their jobs and sanity. These administrators and educators are not the guilty ones, here, it is this shyster judge and his elite-pig bosses, like Bill Gates, who are guilty!}

Bill Gates and his elite-swine buddies evidently aren’t making enough money as they intellectually rape Merican children in school classrooms. Public education is not, nor has it ever been, a money maker, and so this crime being perpetrated against these administrators and educators is simply part of another elite-pig scam:

The testing regime that has been at the center of Atlanta’s “school reform”—financed through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation—has one purpose only: to scapegoat teachers for educational problems caused by decades of budget cuts and an increasing proportion of students suffering from poverty, and to justify the further privatization of public education.

If pig-elite Bill Gates and whore are involved, then you can count on ‘we the people’ being fucked, ‘royally’!

This travesty of ‘justice’ can best be summed up:

“This is class justice. While police can get away with murder and the real racketeers who are conspiring to destroy public education or who wrecked the economy and waged wars based on lies are never held to account, the full weight of the capitalist courts is levied against the working class. Particular vindictiveness is reserved for any section of workers who dare defy the state and uphold their democratic rights.”

This elite-swine owned and operated piece of shit country is going straight to where it belongs, HELL!

2 thoughts on “Judge hands down brutal sentences in Atlanta test “cheating” case | News for the Revolution

  1. And the sad fact for Mericans, is that we have never been free, this has been a fraud from the beginning.

    In fact, I doubt that most Mericans can actually comprehend what true individual means, or looks like. Mericans think laws are here to protect their freedom, this is how brainwashed they are!

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