The supposed transformation of Atlanta Public Schools overseen by former Superintendent Beverly Hall resulted from a criminal enterprise that victimized thousands of struggling students for years, authorities alleged Friday.
Capping a series of investigations that spanned four years, a Fulton County grand jury indicted Hall and 34 others on charges that they conspired to cheat on federally mandated standardized tests from at least 2005 to 2010. Further, the grand jury charged, Hall, several top aides, principals and teachers engaged in the scheme for their own financial gain. And with investigators closing in, the jury said, Hall and others lied to cover up their crimes.
Hall inculcated an atmosphere that encouraged using any means necessary to achieve test-score targets, the indictment said, and then “publicly misrepresented the academic performance of schools throughout APS.” Pressuring subordinates to produce targeted scores, the indictment said, “created an environment where achieving the desired end result was more important than the students’ education.”
“This is nothing but pervasive and rank thuggery,” said Richard Hyde, one of the special investigators appointed in 2010 by then-Gov. Sonny Perdue to delve into what has become the largest academic cheating scandal in U.S. history.
Read more: AJC