A former Atlanta schools superintendent helped fuel widespread cheating on standardized tests with bonuses for increased scores and a practice of punishing whistleblowers and praising cheaters, prosecutors said.
Beverly Hall, who resigned from Atlanta Public Schools in 2011, was indicted along with 34 fellow educators Friday. They are accused of participating in a widespread conspiracy to cheat on standardized tests. Hall and others benefited from the cheating by taking bonuses for increased test scores, according to the 65-count indictment which was posted online by the New York Times. Among other charges faced by the defendants are making false statements, theft and influencing witnesses.
“The refusal of Beverly Hall and her top administrators to accept anything other than satisfying targets created an environment where achieving the desired end result was more important than the students’ education,” the indictment says.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution began reporting on possible cheating in 2008 when it published an analysis that showed statistically improbable increases on test scores.