A judge on Tuesday sentenced eight former Atlanta public school teachers to up to seven years in prison following their racketeering convictions in a massive cheating scandal.
Three teachers received seven-year prison sentences, two received two-year sentences, and three received one-year sentences, with all the punishments including lengthy probation time after jail. Two more educators accepted deals with prosecutors and received lighter sentences.
"There were thousands of children that were harmed in this thing," Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter said in handing down the surprisingly stiff sentences, adding "It's like the sickest thing that's ever happened to this town."
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The defendants were convicted of conspiring to change students' scores on standardized tests, sometimes doing so together at "cheating parties."
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