The Atlanta public school cheating scandal has high ranking school officials getting charged with crimes usually reserved for top-level mob members.
District superintendent Beverly L, Hall is charged with racketeering, theft, influencing witnesses, conspiracy and making false statements. Prosecutors recommended a $7.5 million bond for her and she could face up to 45 years in prison. Up to three dozen people have been indicted in the scandal.
This whole scandal and the way it was carried out has all the intrigue of a John Grisham novel. A group of seven teachers, who referred to themselves as “The Chosen”, would get together every afternoon during state testing and literally change wrong answers to right ones.
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During this time, Hall's district, which was comprised of predominantly lower income families, consistently did better than wealthier districts.
But of course, as in any school related scandal, the children ultimately suffer the most.
While Dr. Hall received acclaim (2009 American Association of School Administrators named her superintendent of the year) and wealth (more than $500,000 in performance bonuses), the children who need education more than their higher-income counterparts get nothing of any benefit - other than a firsthand lesson in why cheating is never a good idea.