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Atlanta School Caught Cheating

Written By: Jim Swanson  |  Posted: Thursday, July 21st, 2011

            "Today is a dark day for the Atlanta Public School system." So began a speech by Kasim Reed, Mayor of Atlanta, Georgia the first of July. "Our worst fears have come true." The comments were a response to the final report of an extensive investigation into cheating by Atlanta teachers and administration. The study concluded that 1) Teachers and principals erased and corrected mistakes on students' answer sheets on standardized tests; 2) Area superintendents silenced whistle-blowers and rewarded subordinates who met academic goals by any means possible; 3) Superintendent Beverly Hall (pictured above displaying her 2009 Superintendent-of-the-year award) and her top aides ignored, buried, destroyed or altered complaints about misconduct, claimed ignorance of wrongdoing and accused naysayers of failing to believe in poor children's ability to learn. "The investigators conducted more than 2,100 interviews and examined more than 800,000 documents in what is likely the most wide-ranging investigation into test-cheating in a public school district ever conducted in United States history."

            Hall had been dubbed the "miracle worker" during most of her eleven-year tenure as superintendent. The Atlanta school district was transformed from underachievers to super achievers in a few short years. She was paid well for her efforts earning $344,331 in 2009, and receiving an additional performance bonus of $78,100. Hall resigned June 30th, the day the report was published and the day her contract ended.

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