While turmoil brews over what’s being called the nations largest cheating scandal, former Atlanta Public School (APS) Superintendent is on vacation. In Hawaii. (Image: Hall in Hawaii being asked for an interview by local Atlanta Anchorwoman Monica Pearson)
The investigation into Atlanta Public Schools revealed that 178 educators in 44 schools cheated on standardized tests used to meet federal benchmarks. The investigation found that the cheating dated as far back as 2001. Educators told state investigators they were pressured to improve test scores – not surprising in a system where rewards and bonuses are based on test scores.
In 2009 Hall reportedly earned more than $400,000 in salary, bonuses and other benefits, including a car. In fact, her bonus for 2009 was $78,115. (Source). But the problems may not have started with Hall. Maureen Downey of AJC’s Get Schooled blog points out that as far back as 10 years ago APS scores seemed “too good to be true.”
The educators named in the most recent scandal were either involved with erasing wrong answers or should have known that the corrections were taking place. As former APS superintendent, Beverly Hall, at the least, falls in the “should have known” category. CNN reports:
The state’s report indicated there was a climate of cheating and performance-at-all-costs during the tenure of former Superintendent Beverly Hall. It’s a charge Hall has denied. “We reaffirm Dr. Hall’s position that she most definitely did not know of any widespread cheating on the CRCT (Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests) in 2009 or any other year,” she said in a statement released through her attorney. (CNN)
In an ironic twist, Hall was named the 2009 Superintendent of The Year by the American Association of School Administrators. It would seem fitting that even if Hall continues to tow the unbelievable “I wasn’t aware” line that at a minimum she should shoulder some responsibility for being at the helm of what is now a historical miscarriage of justice perpetrated against Atlanta school children and their parents. Instead, she’s in Hawaii.
To read more about the APS scandal, click here.