ATL’s Former APS Chief Dr. Beverly Hall Still Can’t Accept There Was Cheating
Dr. Beverly Hall, once named as the nation’s school superintendent of the year and a veteran of 40 years in tough urban districts including New York and Newark, now stands marked by the biggest standardized test cheating scandal in the country’s history.
As Atlanta moves on from the said scandal of the year, Dr. Hall is left to defend her reputation, prepare for any possible legal action and consider whether her philosophy of education and style of leadership brought her to what is the lowest point in her career.
“I will survive this,” said Dr. Hall, 65. “I feel badly for myself, but I feel just as badly for all the people in this district who are working hard,” she said. “Now everything they read and hear is negative. That is taking a tremendous toll on me.”
She continues to maintain she never knowingly allowed cheating and does not condone it, but acknowledges that people under her did.
She claims the allegations which she and others argue were overreaching and contained inaccuracies — shocks her.
“I can’t accept that there is a culture of cheating,” she said. “What these 178 are accused of is horrific, but we have over 3,000 teachers.”
Dr. Hall says she focused on creating a culture that demanded achievement, based on her core belief that every child — no matter his or her life circumstances — can learn enough to meet certain standards.
This is a shocking revelation from NY Times: ‘But even her supporters say that belief was so unbending that people would rather erase wrong scores — and reap the financial and workplace perks associated with improved test scores — than tell her children could not pass.’
It is obvious that she failed to recognize the immense learning issues of the school children were having in the classrooms.
“The problem came when every child was expected to reach an arbitrary standard that didn’t include a consideration of where they are coming from,” said State Representative Kathy Ashe, a Democrat.
We still believe that she knew exactly what was going on and many others know this as well. We spoke to one parent on our staff that moved to Atlanta in 2005 for a better life and to start a business. She was intrigued by the very impressive test scores and graduation numbers at the school she enrolled her child in. Well, while the Dekalb County school claimed excellence on their website, they actually were very unorganized, unprofessional and refused to transfer many of her child’s out of state classes. The nightmare did not end as her child had to repeat a school year and never received help even after transferring to another school. She knew then that the students were not all the records showed them to be. It was all a facade to allow Atlanta to continue to carry the name of the ‘Black Mecca’. She soon realized that professionals and state officials over the Atlanta area were just puffing up the city’s name and reputation on false pretenses to compete with other urban cities.
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