The educators found guilty of cheating in the Atlanta Public School System finally break their silence in a tell-all documentary, One Child Left Behind: The Untold Atlanta Cheating Scandal. In 2015, 11 educators were convicted to upward of 30 years for their roles in the case that stained the school district’s reputation. The film presents a harrowing tale about high-stakes testing tied to the No Child Left Behind Act, which placed a tremendous burden on educators, who faced losing school operating funds if students failed to pass year-end exams. The documentary takes an in-depth look at the 1,176 accused educators, the 35 indictments, and those found guilty on racketeering charges, typically reserved for modern-day mafia.
The film reveals the perils of disadvantaged school districts, coupled with the politics, race and power struggle that spawned the longest criminal trial in Georgia’s history. One Child Left Behind is directed by Jodi Gomes, a special education advocate, respected showrunner, director and producer, known for her work on Bravo’s Married to Medicineand the docu-series, The Jacksons: A Family Dynasty.
“One Child Left Behind exposes how the No Child Left Behind Act has failed underserved communities,” said Jodi Gomes. “One size fits all testing is outdated and doesn’t account for social and economic disparities plaguing students across the US. Cheating will persist within school systems nationwide if abject poverty and pressure to surpass unrealistic measurement goes unanswered. The cheating scandal now plaguing colleges across the country further underscores how standardized testing, from CRCT to SAT’s, when left unchecked, enables privileged parents to circumvent the educational system.”
Cameras unearthed a smoking gun exposing more cheating scandals across the country; however, none rose to the level of criminality like in Atlanta. In the film, exclusive interviews by teachers, advocates, members of the Atlanta Board of Education, the prosecution, district attorney and defense attorneys, provide all sides of the massive investigation and ensuing criminal convictions. Revelations in the documentary recently inspired some of the convicted to amend their appeals to file motions for a new trial.
The film is set to spur a national conversation on the racial disparities in school testing and admissions as the U.S. Justice Department recently uncovered the largest college admissions scandal ever, involving some of Hollywood’s most notable actresses and business leaders.
One Child Left Behind executive producer Anthony McLemore said, “With shocking admissions of guilt, to steadfast proclamations of innocence, the film’s searing facts will spark vigorous debates, as the college scandal reveals an even deeper dive into unethical behaviors.”
Visit https://onechildleftbehindmovie.com/ to view the trailer and learn more about One Child Left Behind.
One Child Left Behind is currently screening at film festivals nationwide.