ATLANTA - In another embarrassing blow to Atlanta public schools, nearly three dozen former educators, including the ex-superintendent, were indicted Friday in one of the nation's largest test-cheating scandals.
Former Superintendent Beverly Hall faced charges including racketeering, false statements and theft because prosecutors said some of the bonuses she received were tied to falsified scores.
Hall retired just days before a state probe was released in 2011. She has long denied knowing about the cheating or ordering it.
During a news conference Friday, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard gave examples of two students who showed "the plight of many children" in the Atlanta school system. He described a third-grader who failed a benchmark exam and received the worst score in her reading class in 2006. The girl was held back, yet when she took a separate assessment test not long after, she passed with flying colors.
Howard said the girl's mother knew something was awry, but was told by school officials that the child simply was a good test-taker. She is now in ninth grade, reading at a fifth-grade level.
The probe lasted 21 months; the allegations date to 2005. In addition to Hall, 34 people were indicted: four high-level administrators, six principals; two assistant principals; six testing coordinators; 14 teachers; an improvement specialist and a secretary.