For years, Atlanta Superintendent Beverly Hall has been considered one of the best in the country—thanks in part to students’ lofty test scores. But that was all a lie, according to a state investigation released today, which finds that Hall’s administration covered up rampant, systematic cheating, and even retaliated against educators who tried to report it, the New York Times reports. “There will be consequences,” Gov. Nathan Deal promised, possibly including criminal charges.
Hall left her job of her own volition last week, but her interim replacement promised dismissals following the report. Teachers told investigators that they felt pressure to cheat on students' behalf—four even recalled a “changing party,” where they doctored tests using answer sheets from a school official, according to the AP. “Dr. Hall and her administration emphasized test results and public praise to the exclusion of integrity and ethics,” the report concluded. Hall’s attorneys say she “steadfastly denies” any knowledge of cheating.