Comparing Punishments for Fraud: Atlanta Teachers vs. 2008 Banksters

Perfect example of what we value, not saying what the teachers did wasn’t wrong it was. However, it did not deserve this outcome.

The Progressive Cynic

© Josh Sager – April 2015

Last week, eight Atlanta teachers and school administrators who were involved in test-fixing scandal were sentenced to significant prison time. This conclusion to the Atlanta test-fixing scandal is an unfortunate illustration of the inequities that have characterized our modern criminal justice system.

The state argued that these educators constituted an organized criminal organization that sought to artificially increase student test scores in order to gain personal bonuses. Put simply, teachers and administrators looked over high-stakes standardized testing sheets submitted by their students, erased some incorrect answers, and re-submitted them to be graded. These erasures boosted the average test score dramatically in some schools, creating the false perception that students were improving. As student scores were tied to incentive pay for educators, this resulted in thousands of dollars in bonuses for teachers.


Georgia prosecutors invoked the RICO anti-racketeering law—which is usually reserved for organized crime…

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  1. Val, did you see John Stewart’s take on this earlier this week? He compared what happened in Atlanta to the 2008 financial meltdown. Absolutely fascinating how similar they were except for one thing. The educators in Atlanta got prison time, but only one of the financial guys got any jail time. The rest got off by paying a fine and yet taking no responsibility for what happened. Incredibly frustrating.

    • I think Monica, all we have to do is compare a few key elements and we see the problem. You are right very frustrating, but it is easy to see the problem, this nation has its moral compass wrong.

  2. Ye, I immediately wondered if a bunch of white teachers would have been treated like that…
    what is the answer. when the powerful are allowed to misuse their power….

  3. Eye-opening when you see it in this light. Great article. Thanks for sharing it.

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