None of the above The untold story of the Atlanta public schools cheating scandal, corporate greed, and the criminalization of educators

Shani Robinson, 1984-

Book - 2019

Describes the racist policies that worked against black children for decades and ultimately led to 35 black public-school educators in Atlanta being charged with racketeering and conspiracy for allegedly changing students' test grades in 2013.

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Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor 370.9758/Robinson Checked In
Boston, Massachusetts : Beacon Press [2019]
Physical Description
xiv, 256 pages ; 24 cm
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Main Author
Shani Robinson, 1984- (author)
Other Authors
Anna Simonton, 1988- (author)
  • Hook, line, and sinker
  • Finding my way
  • The pot calling the kettle black
  • Pushing the envelope
  • The darker the night
  • Between a rock and a hard place
  • Getting cold
  • Not the brightest bulb in the box
  • Speak of the devil.
Review by Booklist Reviews

This collaboration of former Atlanta public school teacher Robinson and journalist Simonton is powerful, offering a bird's-eye view into the now notorious 2013 cheating scandal. Atlanta teachers have been under pressure in underperforming schools to make sure their students' scores keep rising, the context within which Robinson, a still-new African American teacher, was wrongfully indicted for erasing answers on her student's exams. Robinson was the youngest of 35 teachers so charged, and what she and Simonton offer is a story larger than the struggles of one city and its public schools as they address the nationwide rise of corporate interests in public education. As they track this injection of for-profit entities into the public sector, they observe the diversion of funds away from low-income communities and into gentrification and increased wealth for financial elites through questionable tax schemes. What grips the reader most is Robinson's personal experience, especially her and other black teachers' trial under the RICO act, ordinarily reserved for racketeers. A vivid and dramatic look at the consequences of the corporatization of public education. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

In 2013, a number of Georgia's educators were accused of changing answers on students' answer sheets to gain bonuses and meet goals set by the 2002 No Child Left Behind Act. While educators in several school districts came under suspicion, authorities soon focused on the predominately African American schools in the Atlanta School District. Several black educators were charged with violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). Robinson, a former Atlanta first grade teacher and one of the accused, along with journalist Simonton, provides an in-depth look at how the cheating scandal unfolded, resulting in a modern-day witch hunt. They describe the ensuing trial, the personal and financial costs, and how educational and civic programs touted as beneficial to schools and neighborhoods were rooted in racism and corporate greed. The isolation of African American neighborhoods and the dismantlement of many of the social structures caused more harm to students, the authors argue, than any alleged cheating. Robinson's own experience is engaging, though the work sometimes gets bogged down in minutiae. At the same time, the level of detail and copious references demonstrate that the story is larger than the actions of a handful of educators. VERDICT For readers interested in educational reform, urban development, or the impact of race and racism.—Lydia Olszak, Bosler Memorial Lib., Carlisle, PA Copyright 2018 Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Describes the racist policies that worked against black children for decades and ultimately led to 35 black public-school educators in Atlanta being charged with racketeering and conspiracy for allegedly changing students' test grades in 2013.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

An insider’s account of the infamous Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal that scapegoated black employees for problems rooted in the education reform movement.In March of 2013, 35 educators in the Atlanta Public Schools were charged with racketeering and conspiracy—the same charges used to bring down the American mafia—for allegedly changing students’ answers on standardized tests. All but one was black. The youngest of the accused, Shani Robinson, had taught for only 3 years and was a new mother when she was wrongfully convicted and faced up to 25 years in prison. She and her coauthor, journalist Anna Simonton, look back to show how black children in Atlanta were being deprived long before some teachers allegedly changed the answers on their students’ tests. Stretching all the way back to Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark 1954 Supreme Court ruling that outlawed segregation in public schools, to examining the corporate-led education reform movement, the policing of black and brown citizens, and widening racial and economic disparities in Atlanta, Robinson and Simonton reveal how real estate moguls and financiers were lining their pockets with the education dollars that should have been going to the classroom.