Former principal pleads guilty in APS cheating scandal - CBS46 News

Former principal pleads guilty in APS cheating scandal

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A veteran educator who served as principal of Gideons Elementary School for 29 years has entered a guilty plea in connection with the Atlanta Public School system cheating scandal.

Armstead Salters pleaded guilty to a single felony count of false statements and writings during plea proceedings Thursday afternoon.

Salters is one of 35 educators indicted in March for their roles in a conspiracy to alter Criterion Referenced Competency Test scores within the Atlanta Public School system.

Each was charged with false statements and writings, theft by taking and violation of the Georgia RICO Act.

Salters admitted to falsifying CRCT certification forms "knowing that my actions would contribute to the school system fraudulently reaching the unrealistic and unreasonable targets established by Defendant Beverly Hall and her administration."

Under the terms of his plea agreement, Salters was sentenced to two years probation, ordered to perform 1,000 hours of community service and pay $2,000 in restitution for the bonus money he received. He is also required to provide truthful testimony at trial.

Salters said the culture of cheating at Gideons emerged as a result of unrelenting pressure from APS senior administration.

Prosecutors believe Salters' testimony is critical because of his role as the lead administrator at Gideons and knowledge of directives from APS executives that promoted a culture of cheating.

Salters is the first of six former principals indicted to enter a guilty. To date, one assistant principal, four teachers and a testing coordinator have each pleaded guilty to obstruction charges and have been sentenced to probation, ordered to perform community service and pay restitution for bonuses obtained under false pretenses.

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