by Shani Robinson and Anna Simonton
An insider's account of the infamous Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal that scapegoated black employees for problems rooted in the education reform movement.
In March of 2013, 35 educators in the Atlanta Public Schools were charged with racketeering and conspiracy--the same charges used to bring down the American mafia--for allegedly changing students' answers on standardized tests. All but one was black. The youngest of the accused, Shani Robinson, had taught for only 3 years and was a new mother when she was wrongfully convicted and faced up to 25 years in prison. She and her coauthor, journalist Anna Simonton, look back to show how black children in Atlanta were being deprived long before some teachers allegedly changed the answers on their students' tests.
Stretching all the way back to Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark 1954 Supreme Court ruling that outlawed segregation in public schools, to examining the corporate-led education reform movement, the policing of black and brown citizens, and widening racial and economic disparities in Atlanta, Robinson and Simonton reveal how real estate moguls and financiers were lining their pockets with the education dollars that should have been going to the classroom.
About the Authors:
Shani Robinson, an alumna of Tennessee State University, is an advocate for troubled youth and their families. She taught in the Atlanta Public Schools system for three years.
Anna Simonton is an independent journalist based in Atlanta and is an editor for Scalawag magazine. Her work has been published by the Nation, In These Times, and AlterNet, among others.