The fallout from the Atlanta test cheating scandal continues as Christopher Waller has resigned from his position as Principal of Parks Middle School. Waller (pictured, on left), who is accused of coordinating mass test cheating at Parks, stepped down after learning of the Atlanta Public Schools system’s plans to fire him.
According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Waller is one of many APS employees highlighted as contributors to the cheating scandal that has been described as the worst in the nation’s history. Investigators found cheating at 44 schools, and while under Waller’s leadership Parks was considered one of the worst.
Investigators told the AJC that teachers felt like they had no other choice but to comply with Waller’s demands. Waller ordered a teacher to steal testing materials prior to the 2009 state exam, and pressured them into engaging in test cheating.
In Waller’s first year at Parks the percentage of eighth-graders who passed the math section rose from 24 percent to 86 percent, and by 2007 the school met 100 percent of the goals set by the district.
As Parks continued to succeed, it was Waller who received the spoils. In 2008 Waller was awarded the Atlanta Family Award for Parks’ annual test score increase. The award came with a $7,500 cash prize—with an additional $10,000 offered to him when he threatened to leave the middle school.
Along with accusations of cheating Waller was also accused of sexually harassing a female employee within the last year. Waller issued a statement regarding his resignation, in which he cited “personal reasons.”
The AJC first broke the test cheating story in 2008.