Sentences cut for 3 ex-educators in Atlanta cheating scandal

Atlanta educators sentenced for cheating scandal. (NBC News photo)

ATLANTA – A judge has sharply reduced the sentences for three former Atlanta public school educators who received the harshest prison terms in the city’s standardized test cheating trial.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter reduced the sentences for Tamara Cotman, Sharon Davis-Williams and Michael Pitts on Thursday. Each was given three years in prison and seven on probation. They were also fined and sentenced to community service.

Previously, each was sentenced to seven years in prison and 13 on probation.

Baxter said he wanted “to modify the sentence so I can live with it.”

The three former district regional directors were the highest-ranking of the 11 former educators convicted of racketeering. Their original sentences were more than double what prosecutors recommended.

Tamara Cotman was a teacher, a principal and then the assistant superintendent of elementary schools in Wichita but she left in 2004.

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