On Friday a grand jury indicted Beverly L. Hall, former Atlanta, GA school district administrator, and 34 other Atlanta educators on charges that include racketeering, influencing witnesses, theft by taking, conspiracy and making false statements. The panel recommended $7.5 million bond for Dr. Hall, who could face up to 45 years in prison.
Investigators have uncovered a decade-long conspiracy that involved teachers and school administrators facilitating cheating on the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests, the state’s main test of core academic subjects for elementary and middle schools. Teachers get salary bonuses if their students perform well on these tests. Allegedly allowing and even encouraging students to cheat on these tests became an all too common way for teachers in the district to make some extra money.
“Prosecutors allege the 35 named defendants conspired to either cheat, conceal cheating or retaliate against whistle-blowers in an effort to bolster C.R.C.T. scores for the benefit of financial rewards associated with high test scores,” according to the indictment.
“What we’ve charged is a conspiracy, and the conspirators carried out different parts of this conspiracy,” said Fulton County District Attorney Paul.