Atlanta teacher says she didn’t cheat because “I teach kids”

Atlanta teacher Schajuan Jones never cheated on state tests, she said Monday in response to a prosecutor’s questions in the Atlanta Public Schools cheating trial.

“I don’t have to,” she said. “I teach kids.”

But Jones said she saw a Dobbs Elementary School fifth-grader run after principal Dana Evans and tell her that a teacher had given students answers to state tests.

Evans is one of 12 former Atlanta school employees on trial in the cheating scandal. Former Dobbs teachers Angela Williamson and Dessa Curb are also on trial, as is regional supervisor Michael Pitts.

Evans brushed the boy aside and kept walking, Jones said.

The student, now a 17-year old Atlanta high school student, testified last week he had told a Dobbs staff member that his friends told him about cheating.

Jones said she reported problems at Dobbs to Evans and to regional supervisor Michael Pitts but nothing changed.

“This is why people don’t tell,” Jones said of the lack of response after one report.

Later Monday, a former Dobbs student testified that Williamson gave her and other students answers on fourth grade state tests. Her account echoed previous testimony from other former Dobbs students.

But the student, now a high school sophomore, said Williamson was a good teacher.

“She was good for advice and other things that I needed help with,” the student said.

Atlanta school cheating trial could continue into spring - 11:23 a.m.

The Atlanta Public Schools cheating trial could run well into the spring.

In court Monday, Judge Jerry Baxter told jurors that testimony could continue into April. That would be about seven months after the first day of testimony in late September.

“I’m asking you not to become impatient although that’s maybe a Herculean task,” Baxter told jurors.

Twelve former Atlanta school district staff are on trial accused of conspiring to cheat on state tests.

So far, the prosecution has called more than 70 witnesses, including current Atlanta students and staff.

Prosecutor Fani Willis said the state, which presented its first witness on Sept. 30, expects to finish presenting its case around Valentine’s Day.

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