Witness breaks down in tears in trial against APS administrator

Atlanta superintendent testifies about test cheating

Atlanta schools Superintendent Erroll Davis took the stand Tuesday to testify in the first trial related to cheating by educators on standardized tests.

Prosecutors called Davis as their final witness before the defense of Tamara Cotman presents its case. Cotman, a former area director for Atlanta Public Schools, is charged with influencing a witness after allegedly asking principals to tell cheating investigators to “go to hell.”

Davis testified that it quickly became clear cheating had taken place in Atlanta schools based on the high number wrong answers that were erased and corrected.

“What occurred could not have occurred without human intervention. It was not random,” Davis said.

Davis removed about 180 educators from their positions in 2011 after state investigatory report found widespread cheating in the school system.

Davis said he held school system leaders responsible for cheating.

“I believe that it’s their responsibility for what happens on their watch,” Davis said. “I believe that all issues are leadership issues.”

The prosecution rested its case Tuesday afternoon, and Cotman’s defense attorney began calling witnesses.

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