State News

September 5, 2013

Ex-Atlanta school superintendent has breast cancer

ATLANTA — Beverly Hall, the former Atlanta schools superintendent accused of a participating in a large-scale conspiracy to cheat on standardized tests, has breast cancer, her lawyer said Thursday.

Hall is receiving treatment for the condition, lawyer Richard Deane said in an emailed statement. Hall will continue to fight the charges against her, Deane said.

A Fulton County grand jury in March indicted Beverly Hall and 34 of her former subordinates, accusing them of being involved in a broad conspiracy to cheat, conceal cheating or retaliate against whistleblowers in an effort to bolster test scores and receive bonuses for improved student performance.  

Former elementary school principal Willie Davenport, one of the educators who was indicted, has died at the age of 66, said Howard Grant, executive director of the Atlanta Board of Education. The cause and date of her death have not been released.

Hall and the other educators have pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.

Hall served as superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools for more than a decade. The other former employees named in the indictment included four high-level administrators, six principals, two assistant principals, six testing coordinators, 14 teachers, a school improvement specialist and a school secretary.  

All those named in the indictment face conspiracy charges. Other charges in the 65-count indictment include false statements and writings, false swearing, theft and influencing witnesses.    

The allegations date to 2005 and the criminal investigation lasted 21 months and involved at least 50 schools as well as hundreds of interviews with school administrators, staff, parents and students. The district has about 50,000 students.

 

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