Jamaican-born Educator, Beverly Hall, is Dead; Criminal Case Unresolved

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The Jamaican born educator who was implicated in a school examination conspiracy in Atlanta, Georgia, is dead.

Beverly Hall is reported to have died from breast cancer.

Ms. Hall was the former Superintendent of the Atlanta Public Schools system.

The 68 year old was one of thirty persons charged in what prosecutors called a broad conspiracy to cheat on state exams.

Prosecutors say Beverly Hall was part of a widespread conspiracy to inflate state test scores in search of bonuses and other benefits.

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.

Test results were tied to extra funding.

Investigators reported cheating in 44 schools with nearly 1-hundred-and-80 educators involved.

They said Hall and her top staff created a culture of fear, intimidation and retaliation.

Hall repeatedly denied knowing of any cheating.

She resigned the same year after more than a decade at the helm of Atlanta’s public school system, during which she had been praised by the city’s business community and recognized by education groups nationwide.

She was charged with racketeering, false statements and theft.

Ms. Hall was set to be tried alongside twelve other former educators who had not agreed to plea deals.

But her attorneys successfully argued that she could not help in her own defense due to the cancer treatments.

Her lawyers say the Jamaican never doubted that she would be acquitted, in a fair trial before a jury.

The Jamaican began her career in New York City as a teacher, principal and superintendent.

After serving in top roles with the New York City and Newark, New Jersey, school systems, she came to Georgia with a reputation for turning schools around.

She clashed with some in each district who criticized her management style, but collected awards.

Many considered her the Atlanta schools’ best chance of improvement when she was hired in 1999.