178 Atlanta Teachers and Administrators Accused of Helping Students Cheat on Tests

Friday, July 29, 2011
Beverly Hall
More than 170 teachers and administrators spent 10 years helping students in the Atlanta school system cheat on a standardized test, according to an investigation launched by Governor Nathan Deal. The multiple-choice exam, known as the Criterion-Referenced Competency Test (CRCT), is used to determine if schools have met the standards set by the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
A three-member team concluded in their report to Deal that “thousands of school children were harmed by widespread cheating in the Atlanta Public School System.” The cheating included instructors and administrators giving children answers, erasing wrong answers, hiding and changing documents, offering cash to encourage cheating, and punishing employees who refused to cheat.
Of the 178 administrators and teachers involved in the scandal, 82 confessed. Thirty-eight of the accused were principals.
“A culture of fear and a conspiracy of silence infected this school system, and kept many teachers from speaking freely about misconduct,” the report states. “From the onset of this investigation, we were confronted by a pattern of interference by top [Atlanta Public Schools] leadership in our attempt to gather evidence. These actions delayed the completion of this inquiry and hindered the truth-seeking process.”
Dr. Beverly Hall, who was Atlanta Schools superintendent at the time of the cheating, defended herself by saying she knew nothing of the problem. She told investigators, “The superintendent is accountable but the superintendent is not responsible.”
-Noel Brinkerhoff
School System Report (Volume 1, Office of the Governor, Georgia) (pdf)


Leave a comment