Closing arguments begin in Atlanta test cheating trial

ATLANTA (AP) - Closing arguments were beginning Monday in the trial of a dozen former Atlanta Public Schools educators accused of participating in a test cheating conspiracy that drew nationwide attention.

Testimony concluded last month, and closing arguments will likely last several days. The monthslong trial kicked off in August with more than six weeks of jury selection.

A grand jury indicted 35 educators in March 2013, and many reached plea agreements with prosecutors.

The educators have said they faced pressure from supervisors - including former Superintendent Beverly Hall - to inflate students' scores.

Hall was supposed to be tried along with the others, but her lawyers successfully argued she was too sick to help her own defense. She died two weeks ago from complications of breast cancer.

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