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Cheating Scandal: 35 Atlanta School Teachers Indicted

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By Brittney R. Villalva, Christian Post Reporter
March 31, 2013|10:03 am

Nearly three-dozen former educators in the Atlanta school district have been indicted for helping students to cheat on their tests.

Former Superintendent Beverly Hall faces charges for conspiracy and making false statements. Without her, officials said, the conspiracy would not have been able to take place.

Hall, along with other school officials, were accused of helping to provide students taking standardized tests, with the correct answers.

"I don't want your answers, I want to take my own test," Juwanna told her teacher, according to Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard. At the time, Juwanna was only in 5th grade and a part of a school that was struggling to produce passing test results.

Hall had previously denied any involvement in the cheating scandal. New reports however are contrary to those claims.

"She was a full participant in that conspiracy," Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard told reporters during a news conference announcing the charges. "Without her, this conspiracy could not have taken place, particularly in the degree in which it took place."

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In addition to other charges, Hall is also facing charges for theft as a result of bonuses she received for helping to drastically improve the test results of children. Hall and her other colleagues had been lauded as an example to other schools.

Between 2005 and 2009, test answers were altered, fabricated and falsely certified, the indictment read on Friday. At least 35 teachers, who were employed in some of Atlanta's most struggling urban public schools, were charged. Hall resigned following the beginning of a state investigation, in 2011. But officials believe that the scandal may have began as early as 2001.

Hall is accused of threatening and intimidating teachers to produce impractical test scores. Those who achieved the scores through cheating, were rewarded, according to a CNN report.

"For example, teachers who reported other teachers who cheated were terminated, while teachers who were caught cheating were only suspended," the indictment alleges. "The message from Beverly Hall was clear: There were to be no exceptions and no excuses for failure to meet targets."

All 35 school instructors involved were asked to surrender themselves on Friday.

 

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