Beverly Hall (Flickr:Metro_Atlanta_Chamber)
ATLANTA -- 11Alive News received new documents Friday that shed even more light onto the APS cheating scandal.
On Friday, we received an additional 400 pages of exhibits referenced in the report. We used those, plus recently obtained audio interviews with APS superintendent Dr. Beverly Hall, to focus on one key point of contention: whether Hall knew several years ago about cheating at Parks Middle School, the most egregious of all the schools mentioned in the report.
According to the report, in the fall of 2005, APS officials received three letters of complaint, the first of which was received and forwarded by Dr. Hall herself. The second and third complaints spoke of how Parks Middle School principal Christopher Waller coerced teachers to cheat on the CRCTs. Hall authorized an investigation, which was done by Reginald Dukes.
Dukes says he submitted several reports that confirmed those allegations; then, he says he met with top APS officials, including Dr. Hall, five days later.
Hall says she doesn't remember it.
"Do you have any recollection of ever having met with Mr. Dukes?" she was asked.
"No, I don't," Hall responded. "Well, you know what's amazing? I don't think I have met with a male investigator since I've been in Atlanta Public Schools."
Dukes says not only was Hall there, but that "he handed a copy of his May 5, 2006 report to Dr. Hall."
Nothing was ever done at Parks. A month later, Waller received $10,000 from a private foundation to convince him to stay at Parks. Dr. Hall didn't authorize it but was aware of it; in her interview, she uses it to make a point.
"Do you think if I had had any such conversation with anyone that I could have gone along with he's doing a good job?" she said. "Just did not happen. Unless I was drugged and asleep, I have absolutely no recollection."