Tears and a no-show in cheating trial for APS educators - CBS46 News

Tears and a no-show in cheating trial for APS educators

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Armstead Salters Armstead Salters

When former Gideon Elementary School Principal Armstead Salters left the witness stand Tuesday, prosecutors expected him back on the stand Wednesday, but Salters was a no-show.

The state was forced to proceed with its next witness, retired Atlanta Public Schools teacher Oliver Banks.

Banks worked for APS for more than 49 years. His last post was at Gideon. Banks told jurors he left with a heavy heart.

"I was humiliated. I felt bad about what I had done. It was just a pain. I could not stand it, just stay there and face those people every day knowing that I had done what I did," Banks said.

Banks told jurors he participated in cheating on the CRCT.

"I know that we cheated. We changed those scores, but you are responding to your superior," Banks said.

Banks testified in the trial against 11 former APS educators who are fighting allegations they cheated on standardized tests.

Michael Pitts was the executive director over Gideon. When Salters pleaded guilty in December, he admitted to orchestrating cheating and said Pitts put extreme pressure on him.

Banks said Salters passed that pressure on to teachers.

Judge Jerry Baxter said he will deal with Salters at the end of the trial. Prosecutors are considering requesting Baxter to revoke Salter's probation.

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