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Criminal defense: GA superintendent on trial for cheating

Georgia educators hold the key to the future of children. Parents trust that teachers will work in the best interest of their children to help them succeed. This trust was put in question in Atlanta, Georgia. The former Atlanta Public Schools superintendent, Beverly Hall, now stands at the center of a test-cheating scandal.

Hall was hired by the school board in 1999 and made aver $160,000 each year before bonuses. Her bonuses were linked to student performances on standardized tests. Former board member Anne Harper recently testified that Hall had an adversarial relationship with the board. She did not want board members visiting schools or talking with parents in the district.

Suspicions arose after low performing students scored exceptionally well on their third grade exams. Despite the great performance in third grade, those same students reported low test score the next time they were tested. Parents were alarmed and began to inquire about the teaching methods. It was then that students began to explain that they were given answers to the test from their third grade teachers. Hall was recently indicted in connection with the cheating scandal. Though her trial is underway, she is being treated for Stage IV breast cancer.

Testimony continues in the case. No matter the outcome, Hall's reputation has taken a huge beating. Her integrity, as well as her professional skills have been called into question. A criminal charge can have a variety of long-term consequences on a defendant. It is important that the accused have experienced legal counsel to help navigate both the legal and social pitfalls that can occur.

Source: WSB Radio, "Former APS board member: Beverly Hall bossed board," Molly Bloom & Bill Rankin, Sept. 30, 2014

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