The astonishing improvement in test scores made by students in Atlanta last decade earned schools chief Beverly Hall plaudits from around the nation and superintendent-of-the-year honors in 2009. Now, they might get her 45 years in prison. Hall and 34 underlings were indicted today and accused of orchestrating a massive fraud on standardized tests, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Charges include racketeering, influencing witnesses, conspiracy, and making false statements, reports the New York Times.
“Prosecutors allege the 35 named defendants conspired to either cheat, conceal cheating or retaliate against whistle-blowers in an effort to bolster C.R.C.T. scores for the benefit of financial rewards associated with high test scores,” says the indictment. Hall, who has previously denied being aware of any cheating, got hundreds of thousands of dollars in bonuses over the years thanks to the improving test scores. (Read more Atlanta stories.)