Q: The term racketeering makes me think of gangsters. Why were the Atlanta educators charged with this crime?
—Janet Peterson, Rome
A: Fulton County assistant district attorney Fani Willis said the former Atlanta Public Schools educators and administrators violated the state's RICO, or Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations, statue because they used the " 'legitimate enterprise' of the school system to carry out the illegitimate act of cheating," in her opening statement, the New York Times reported.
The district attorney’s office stated that former Atlanta Public Schools superintendent Beverly Hall and others “conspired to either cheat, conceal cheating or retaliate against whistleblowers in an effort to bolster CRCT scores for the benefit of financial rewards associated with high test scores,” according to the Fulton County District Attorney’s office.
Andy Johnston wrote this column. Do you have a question about the news? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2002 or email firstname.lastname@example.org (include name, phone and city).