EDUCATION

Judge in Atlanta schools cheating case keeps word on punishing those who won't admit guilt

  • Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter describes how the three former SRT directors were at the top of the chain during sentencing on Tuesday, April 14, 2015, in Atlanta. All but one of 10 former Atlanta public school educators convicted in a widespread conspiracy to inflate student scores on standardized tests were sentenced to jail time Tuesday. Baxter called the cheating scandal "the sickest thing that's ever happened in this town." (Kent D. Johnson/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP, Pool)

    Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter describes how the three former SRT directors were at the top of the chain during sentencing on Tuesday, April 14, 2015, in Atlanta. All but one of 10 former Atlanta public school educators convicted in a widespread conspiracy to inflate student scores on standardized tests were sentenced to jail time Tuesday. Baxter called the cheating scandal "the sickest thing that's ever happened in this town." (Kent D. Johnson/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • Former Atlanta public school SRT Director Tamara Cotman listens during sentencing on Tuesday, April 14, 2015 in Atlanta. All but one of 10 former Atlanta public school educators convicted in a widespread conspiracy to inflate student scores on standardized tests were sentenced to jail time Tuesday. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter called the cheating scandal "the sickest thing that's ever happened in this town."  (Kent D. Johnson/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP, Pool)

    Former Atlanta public school SRT Director Tamara Cotman listens during sentencing on Tuesday, April 14, 2015 in Atlanta. All but one of 10 former Atlanta public school educators convicted in a widespread conspiracy to inflate student scores on standardized tests were sentenced to jail time Tuesday. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter called the cheating scandal "the sickest thing that's ever happened in this town." (Kent D. Johnson/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • Former Atlanta public school SRT Director Michael Pitts talks with his defense attorney George Lawson during sentencing on Tuesday, April 14, 2015 in Atlanta. All but one of 10 former Atlanta public school educators convicted in a widespread conspiracy to inflate student scores on standardized tests were sentenced to jail time Tuesday. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter called the cheating scandal "the sickest thing that's ever happened in this town."  (Kent D. Johnson/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP, Pool)

    Former Atlanta public school SRT Director Michael Pitts talks with his defense attorney George Lawson during sentencing on Tuesday, April 14, 2015 in Atlanta. All but one of 10 former Atlanta public school educators convicted in a widespread conspiracy to inflate student scores on standardized tests were sentenced to jail time Tuesday. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter called the cheating scandal "the sickest thing that's ever happened in this town." (Kent D. Johnson/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

A judge kept his word, showing mercy to former Atlanta public school educators who accepted responsibility for their role in a widespread conspiracy to inflate student scores on standardized tests and coming down harshly on those who didn't.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter had delayed sentencing by a day and encouraged the 10 former educators to negotiate deals with prosecutors.

Those who did that were rewarded Tuesday: Baxter gave a former teacher a 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew at home for one year and a former testing coordinator six months of weekends spent in jail. They'll also serve five years on probation.

The other eight weren't so lucky: Baxter gave them sentences of between one and seven years in prison. They're expected to appeal.