ATLANTA (AP) — Beverly Hall, the former superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools charged in what prosecutors had called a broad conspiracy to cheat on state exams, has died.
Hall’s attorney J. Tom Morgan confirmed her death in an email on Monday.
She was among more than 30 APS educators indicted in March 2013 in the scandal, which prosecutors called a widespread conspiracy to inflate state test scores in search of bonuses and other benefits.
Hall was set to be tried with 12 other former educators who had not agreed to plea deals starting in 2014, but her attorneys successfully argued that the former superintendent could not defend herself while being treated for breast cancer. She faced charges including racketeering, making false statements and theft.
A 2011 state investigation found widespread cheating on annual state exams that were used to determine whether schools met the federal No Child Left Behind law, with ties to extra funding. Hall resigned the same year after more than a decade at the helm of Atlanta’s public school system, during which she was praised by the city’s business community and education stakeholders nationwide.
The Jamaican-born Hall began her career in New York City, working as a teacher, principal and superintendent. She came to Atlanta with a reputation for turning around schools after serving in top roles with the New York City and Newark, New Jersey, school systems and earned accolades for her work in the mostly poor, urban district.
Investigators reported cheating in 44 schools with nearly 180 educators involved and said Hall and her top staff “created a culture of fear, intimidation and retaliation.”
Closing arguments in the case of the 12 remaining defendants are expected later this month.
Associated Press reporter Christina A. Cassidy contributed to this report.