Jamaican-American Ex-Atlanta Schools chief Dr. Beverly L. Hall has been indicted by a Fulton County, Georgia, grand jury. Dr. Hall who gained fame for her purported improvement of Atlanta schools was charged with racketeering, theft, influencing witnesses, conspiracy and making false statements and other crimes related to the doctoring of students' test answers. The racketeering, false statements and theft charges stem from the bonuses she received that prosecutors tied to falsified test scores.
Dr. Hall, who resigned in 2011 under suspicion of overseeing system wide doctoring of student answers could face up to 45 years in prison. She had served as superintendent of the Atlanta Public Schools since 1999.
Born in Jamaica where she graduated from Saint Andrew High School for Girls, she moved to the New York City area where she received a bachelors degree from Brooklyn College, a master's degree from the City University of New York, and an Ed.D. degree from Fordham University in 1990.
Dr. Hall arrived in Atlanta in 1999 after rapidly advancing through the ranks of the New York City schools, from teacher to principal to deputy superintendent, and after serving as superintendent of the Newark, New Jersey school system from 1995 to 1999.
During her tenure in Atlanta she earned a reputation as someone who understood the needs of poor children, got results, and had a strong relationship with the business elite. She was lauded for her achievements in 2009 by The American Association of School Administrators which named Dr. Hall National Superintendent of the the Year for the significant gains made in student achievement during her 10 years tenure in Atlanta.
In addition to Dr. Hall, 34 others were indicted: four high-level administrators, six principals; two assistant principals; six testing coordinators; 14 teachers; a school improvement specialist and a school secretary as a result of a criminal investigation that lasted 21 months and allegations that date back to 2005.
All of the people 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.