Atlanta public schools superintendent quits amid cheating scandal

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Beverly Hall, the Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent, announced on Saturday that she will leave her job in June 2011. The administrator has been under attack for the last two years, after an initial investigation by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution showed test scores in dozens of district schools were highly suspicious, and indicated a pattern of district-wide cheating.

Superintendent Hall quit amid cheating allegations

On Friday, the AJC asked the state to investigate the school district for withholding an independent report that confirms the newspaper’s findings. The report in question was a statistical analysis done by the University of Pennsylvania which examined recent scores on the state’s Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests. The test are  administered to all students in Georgia’s public schools in the  first through the eighth grade and assesses reading, language arts math, social studies and science.

The AJC asked that the state attorney general determine whether the refusal by the school district to provide the information requested under the Open Records Act was a criminal offense.

A number of federal and state probes have been ongoing since last year, with GBI agents interviewing teachers and administrators throughout the district. Criminal charges could be filed against district employees, based on evidence collected in the investigation.

Agents have reported evidence of widespread corruption in the district, including the erasing of wrong answers and correcting them, on tests in 58 schools. Over 100 teachers have been reported to the state teacher certification body, and U.S investigators are expanding their probe.

Hall became well known in education circles, partially because of her success in improving student skills as measured by the standardized tests. She was recently named to the National Board of education Sciences by President Obama.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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