Administrator Magazine
Scholastic Administrator is a must-read resource for 240,000 of today's results-driven school leaders. Every issue features leadership for education executives, insight and analysis into what's next in education, and reporting on cutting-edge technologies in real life applications.

Walk of Shame

Former Atlanta schools chief Beverly Hall has been indicted in the long-simmering test-score scandal.

“Accountability,” that watchword of education reform, took on a sinister cast in March when a grand jury charged former Atlanta schools chief Beverly Hall and 34 others with crimes stemming from the most infamous of the school-cheating scandals that emerged with high-stakes testing.

Hall, who ran Atlanta Public Schools from 1999 to 2010, set high test-score targets for her principals. She awarded bonuses to those who met them; those who didn’t were often replaced. The New York Times reports that at Parks Middle School, the epicenter of the cheating scandal, eighth graders proficient in math rose from 24 percent to 86 percent after Christopher Waller became principal, in 2005. In reading, proficiency rose from 35 percent to 78 percent. Waller was among the indicted.

Jackie Parks, the third-grade Venetian Hills Elementary teacher who became a key witness for investigators, told the Times that teachers would work together during testing week, erasing wrong answers and filling in correct ones. Overseen by the principal, they wore gloves to avoid leaving fingerprints.

Rumors of cheating were rampant over the years. Reports that came to Hall’s office were ignored.

Scores rose, and Hall rose with them. In 2009, the AASA honored Hall as its superintendent of the year. Over the years, she received more than $580,000 in performance bonuses, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Now she faces charges of racketeering, theft, influencing witnesses, conspiracy, and making false statements and, if found guilty, up to 45 years in prison.

“She certainly wasn’t aware of any cheating on a scale that’s been alleged,” Hall’s attorney, Richard Deane, told the Journal-Constitution. He laid the blame on “misguided individuals” who were working “outside her direction and outside her vision.”

In the wake of similar scandals in Cleveland and El Paso, Texas, it seems that a full accounting of the fallout from a decade of high-stakes testing is just getting under way.

—Summer 2013—

  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    Rookie Biographies®: Mary McLeod Bethune

    Rookie Biographies®: Mary McLeod Bethune

    by Susan Evento

    This biography is an introduction to the life of Mary McLeod Bethune, an African American educator who fought poverty and discrimination, founded a college, and worked with Franklin Delano Roosevelt to improve opportunities for blacks.

    Series Information

    Looking for biographies that are suitable for emergent readers — and relevant to the primary-school curriculum? Rookie Biographies is the answer! Identical in design and format to the popular Rookie Read-About Science, Geography, and Holiday series, each new Rookie Biographies introduces children to the lives and achievements of pioneering men and women from diverse cultures, eras, and fields. Featuring simple text and full-color photographs, a "Words You Know" glossary, and an easy-to-use index, Rookie Biographies helps readers get to know the people who shaped our world.

    Series Features

    • Age-appropriate vocabulary
    • Clear linkage between text and photos
    • Includes archival reproductions where appropriate
    • Positioned in the middle Early Intervention range
    • Comprehensive glossary of "Words You Know"
    • Index makes navigating subject matter easy

    $3.71 You save: 25%
    Paperback Book | Grades 1-2
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only