Fun Size: You gotta love APS. They make DeKalb County look pretty dang good. But it is indeed heartening to see Beverly Hall reap what she truly has sown since she has certainly harvested all the monetary benefits from her culture of intimidation and lies over the years.
Tonya: I worked in APS human resources during Dr. Halls’ tenure. While these teachers did bad things, they weren’t just worried about losing their jobs when they compromised their morals. They were worried about losing their livelihood in its entirety. If you are non-renewed or discharged from a school in this state, you are pretty much screwed for working in any other public school system. Period. It is like a death sentence for your teaching certificate.
Hugh: What happens to all the true heroes (teachers/administrators) who did their jobs well but refused to cheat and, as a result, were labeled as not team players, poor performers, harassed, put on a professional development plan and ultimately terminated? They deserve more than an apology. In fact, they should be fairly compensated for loss of income, emotional distress and tarnished reputations.
Robert: I wonder why the prosecutor choose to try this case as a “RICO” trial? I think he misjudged the evidence or he is seeking to capitalize on his brief moment in the spotlight. The real losers are the students who through no fault of their own are held as hostages until this case is dismissed due to lack of evidence.
Digger: A compendium of the booking photos would make a lovely addition to any coffee table.
Beteaching: My son couldn’t sleep last night because he was worried about the CRCT. He said — and this is a student who has “exceeded expectations” in all categories each year — that he is stupid and will fail them all. His rantings and tears may be blamed on sixth-grade hormones, but I think the pressure to succeed is simply too much on students, teachers, principals and superintendents.
Clutch: As repugnant as the Hall regime seemed to be, she had a few busloads of accomplices on the payroll at APS. Apparently, the likes of Bev Hall found fertile soil in which to plant and nourish her intrigues. (And I don’t believe they got everybody. Some very guilty people will escape unscathed.) We must remember that this whole tawdry episode says a lot more about the character of a rotten system than just the moral shortcomings of one pathetic woman at the top.
Just the beginning: Perhaps this will help the district focus on teaching. As the parent of three who attended APS, albeit in one of the two functional clusters, I saw firsthand the misplaced priorities of Atlanta’s senior leadership. I could cite many examples, but they would be all too familiar to those whose children went, and seen as grotesque by those whose did not. There are excellent administrators and teachers within the system. Unfortunately, these are seldom the people with real power to effect effective change as they are too busy doing the jobs they have rather than seeking another.
Commenters on the AJC Get Schooled blog posted thousands of comments over the last week on the criminal indictments of former Atlanta school chief Beverly Hall and 34 others for their roles in the CRCT cheating scandal. Some were overjoyed; others felt the charges were an overreach. Here is a sampling.