Transcript for Prison Sentences in Atlanta School Cheating Scandal
And now to the major headline breaking in Atlanta late today. The verdict. After a massive cheating scandal. Elementary school teachers, principles arrested. Tonight, many of them convicted, led out of court in handcuffs. They could go to prison for decades now. And ABC's Steve osunsami on what they did. We the jury find the defendant guilty. Reporter: Striking images out of this Georgia courtroom. The judge wasting no time throwing the 11 convicted educators in jail. Guilty in one of the largest U.S. School cheating scandals ever. They have made their bed, and they're going to have to lie in it, and it starts today. Reporter: The way it sounds, you'd think they were mobsters. Convicted of racketeering. Tonight, facing up to 20 years in prison. But these are former elementary school teachers, principals and test coordinators found guilty to conspireing to give answers to students during achievement tests or corrected the answers before they were electronically graded. I think because of the decision of this jury today that people will stop. I think people will stop and they will make an assessment of our educational system. Reporter: The scandal is a blow to public school parents everywhere who worry if their children are getting a quality education. The investigation that uncovered the cheating, from "The Atlanta journal constitution", found suspicious test scores and curious erasures on standard achievement tests in 196 school districts across nearly 20 cities. In Atlanta, teachers who quit in disgust told us a familiar story. We were told we needed to get these scores by any means necessary. Reporter: They had to raise test scores or lose their jobs. We've been following this case for several years now and part of the issue is the enormous pressure across this country placed on parents and teachers to find that magic bullet that will raise test scores. Sometimes the improvements are too good to be true.
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