ATLANTA -- One of the witnesses who testified before a grand jury on the APS cheating scandal says former superintendent Beverly Hall was mostly concerned with the system's image.
Kathleen Mathers was director of the Governor's Office of Student Achievement in 2009 when her office noticed an unusually high number of erasures on Atlanta's CRCT exams. Mathers says there were so many wrong answers erased and changed to right answers, she couldn't help but think something improper had taken place.
"We were obviously very concerned," said Mathers. "In some schools, it would have been impossible to find a different explanation."
Mathers says when she presented her data to Superintendent Beverly Hall in February of 2010, Hall was focused on the school system's image.
"Did you get the impression that she was concerned enough that she would dig into this and find out what was going on?" asked 11Alive's Jerry Carnes.
"I can't say I had a high level of confidence that was going to happen," said Mathers. "The questions were more often on the lines on the image that was put out publicly."
According to the 90 page criminal indictment handed down by a Fulton County Grand Jury on Friday, former Superintendent Beverly Hall was part of a conspiracy to suppress and obstruct investigations into cheating.
Thirty five former APS employees were indicted on a variety of charges, including racketeering, lying to investigators, and theft by taking.
APS CRCT Cheating 2011 Investigation Reports:
Report Volume 1 - Overview, School Summaries
Report Volume 2 - School Summaries, continued
Report Volume 3 - "Targets", Culture of Fear, Allegations of a Cover-Up, etc.
The indictment alleges when one parent raised concerns about her daughter's scores, Hall told her no testing violations occurred.
That parent was Justina Collins, who says her 15-year-old daughter Nybria Troy is now reading on a 5th grade level. Collins feels somehow her family should be compensated.
"I'm behind because of this," said Troy. "I got held back when I should be in the 10th grade."
Troy is now in the 9th grade at Marietta High School. Her mother says her dreams of becoming a fashion designer may never come true because she is so far behind.
Continuing Coverage of APS Cheating:
- Indicted APS educators must turn themselves in by Tuesday
- APS parents say healing begins with indictment
- APS Cheating Scandal - Following the Money
- Atlanta schools cheating case headed to grand jury
- CRCT Investigation: Cheating found in 44 Atlanta schools
- Jay Leno makes fun of APS cheating
- Other schools cheated on tests, too, but state confirms Atlanta was worst in Georgia
- SACS restores accreditation to Atlanta Public Schools
- Principal resigns because of APS Cheating Scandal
- APS cheating scandal: free tutoring helps students
- Schools to repay $363K for cheating
- Education Dept. seeks public input on cheating
- 'Rock Center' examines APS cheating scandal
- First punishments handed down in APS cheating scandal
- Teachers implicated in APS cheating could lose licenses
- Ebenezer Baptist prays for APS students, teachers
- 21 Interim principals named for Atlanta Public Schools
- Source: Implicated APS teacher called to teach again
- Who's telling the truth: Dr. Hall or APS investigator?
- APS Scandal: What about the students?
- Exclusive: Former Mayor Franklin on APS Cheating
- Students react to APS cheating
- Atlanta teachers granted immunity
- Gov. Deal reacts to CRCT investigation