Thursday, July 9, 2020
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Obituary: Beverly Hall

Beverly Hall, the former superintendent in Atlanta who was at the heart of one of the biggest test cheating scandals in US history, died of breast cancer on March 2, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. She was 68.

Ms Hall and 34 others were indicted in March 2013 on racketeering and conspiracy charges in connection with the cheating. They stood accused of facilitating cheating on state tests, hiding it, and retaliating against people who tried to report it.

She maintained her innocence in any conspiracy to the end, but she faced up to 45 years if convicted of the racketeering charges, which will now remain unresolved, as will her legacy.

“If I’m guilty of anything,” the paper quoted her as saying, “I’m guilty of assuming that the teachers could teach so the students could learn. … The superintendent is accountable, but the superintendent is not responsible.”

When criminal charges were first filed, we wrote about the scandal:

Regardless of whether Dr Hall and the other educators in Atlanta are guilty, we believe the investigation has given all of us insight into the pressure educators face in the new world of teaching, pressure they didn’t ask for, pressure that has nothing to do with their reasons for pursuing education as a career, and pressure that cheats thousands of students in every case out of a quality education.

Ms Hall earned a Doctor of Education degree from Fordham University and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Oglethorpe University, according to the Atlanta Public Schools. She obtained a Master of Science in Guidance and Counseling from The City University of New York and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Brooklyn College.

Prior to her post in Atlanta, she was state district superintendent of the Newark Public Schools, the largest school district in the state of New Jersey. Before then, she served as deputy chancellor for instruction of the New York City Public Schools; superintendent, Community School District 27, Queens, N.Y.; and principal, Junior High School 113 and Public School 282, Brooklyn, N.Y.

We extend our sincere condolences to her family and friends. Her legacy is left now to God.

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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