Criminal indictment of Beverly Hall: Is it illegal to be an overly demanding boss?

Oglethorpe University President Lawrence Schall doesn’t dodge the hard stuff. Proving it again today, he dons his legal robes  — he is an attorney –  and discusses the nature of the charges against former APS school chief Beverly Hall.

He is not the only one questioning the breadth of the criminal charges facing Hall and other educators as a result of a cheating scandal first exposed by an AJC investigation of test score disparities.

Former Atlanta Superintendent Beverly Hall was among 35 people indicted today in APS cheating scandal.  (AJC photo)

Former Atlanta Superintendent Beverly Hall is among the 35 people indicted in APS cheating scandal who must surrender at the Fulton County Jail today. (AJC photo)

The Concerned Black Clergy is holding a 10 a.m. press conference today where local attorneys are scheduled to speak about the overreach of the charges.

The press conference is being held at the Fulton County Jail where the 35 accused APS administrators, educators and others indicted Friday are due to surrender.

A 65-count indictment accuses former APS Superintendent Beverly Hall and 34 others of racketeering along with other crimes — including theft by taking, making false statements or writings, influencing witnesses or false swearings.

Schall wonders whether those charges are justified by the facts of the case.

By Lawrence Schall

This past week, 35 former employees of the Atlanta Public Schools were indicted as a result of the cheating scandal that rocked the district several years ago. Included in those 35 is Dr. Beverly Hall, the APS superintendent who ran the system for more than a decade.

She faces up to 45 years in prison; the length of that term is due to the RICO charges that have been added onto her indictment. RICO’s origins date back to 1970 and its intent was to hammer the leaders of criminal syndicates — the Mafia at the time. In the years since its passage, it has become a handy weapon in the toolbox of prosecutors to pressure people into plea deals in the face of long prison sentences or to obtain such sentences in the rare event that these cases actually go to trial.

I read the indictment this weekend from start to finish. The are so many things I find compelling about this whole case — I should acknowledge I began my professional career as an attorney and matters criminal still intrigue me. One fact of note is that charges are being brought against only 35 people.

You don’t have to go back too far in time to read about the hundreds of people who allegedly cheated their students or the 180 or so that were actually fired from their jobs for such activities.

I’ve always thought that the criminal activity here — and I do believe there was criminal activity committed — was limited. In the end, most of the convictions will come from plea deals; that’s just the way the criminal justice system works in America. Prosecutors over-charge and in the face of the consequences of such charges and the prohibitive costs of mounting a real defense, defendants plead to some lesser offense. I can’t imagine anything otherwise happening here for the majority of the defendants.

On the other hand, I doubt there will be a plea deal with Dr. Hall. The prosecutors are clearly convinced she is guilty of committing heinous crimes and I suspect Dr. Hall disagrees pretty vehemently.

The indictment in her case begins this way. Dr. Hall, we are told, was an incredibly demanding leader. She insisted that the children in her district could succeed — success being defined as passing the infamous CRCT tests — and would accept no excuse for failure from the principals under her command. This inflexibility, we are led to believe, created a climate where principals and teachers were left with almost no choice but to cheat.

I have three things to say here. First, Dr. Hall didn’t invent the CRCT, nor was she the one that made that test the be-all and end-all. That decision was made by our federal government in all its wisdom and Dr. Hall, like other superintendents, was working in a system that made that test and others like it the sole arbiter of success.

Second, I have read a whole lot of books and articles praising take-no-prisoner leaders for their insistence on excellence. In this case, those standards would appear to have risen to the status of criminal activity. One needs to understand how RICO works in order to make sense of this. The defendant can actually be convicted under RICO for the offenses of others if she created a climate where such offenses were likely to occur. I sure hope that if Dr. Hall is convicted, it is for something other than being a demanding, even an overly demanding, boss.

And finally, a whole lot of teachers apparently didn’t find that the only response to Dr. Hall’s leadership style was to cheat. A whole, whole lot.

There are a couple specific counts of alleged wrongdoing made against Dr. Hall. I am not crazy about the theft by taking charge. That one rests on the theory that her bonus structure depended in part on test score performances and she knew those reported scores were false. Her acceptance of bonuses through the years was thus theft under the law. It seems to me that this charge ought to fail unless there is some evidence out there about which we have not yet heard that Dr. Hall knew that the overall performance of her students in the district was being intentionally inflated. It may be the case that she received some reports of a case of alleged cheating here or there, but to turn these into the creation of a criminal syndicate feels like an inappropriate stretch.

I am not making excuses for Dr. Hall. She has lost her job and has been tortured in both the local and national press for years now. All this happened on her watch and, in the end, she has to be held accountable and I think she has been. But I have to say that I am not a big fan of using the criminal courts to go after conduct that is not clearly criminal. There are specific allegations against Dr. Hall that if proven, would appear to be criminal acts — making false statements, withholding evidence, etc. I have no issue with those charges, none at all. But the big conspiracy charge, the RICO counts, seem to me to be beyond the bounds of reasonableness.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog. Please note that all comments to blogs are moderated and must be released to appear.

334 comments Add your comment

Rachelle

April 2nd, 2013
12:56 am

Taking bonuses paid with the people’s money based on her questionable results should have raised moral or criminal questions red flags. Dr. Hall ignored them at her own peril.

Each day our morals and ethics are tested. Most of us pass.

My goodness...

April 2nd, 2013
1:30 am

Wrong. She has not been held accountable. She resigned and drove off into the night while thousand of kids who are already in a despicably failing system were robbed of even the chance to improve and the taxpayers and foundations that encourage excellence in urban education were defrauded of millions.

I would love to see the Concerned Black Clergy address the pure generational theft that has been occurring in APS before, during and after Beverly Hall’s reign. From my first-hand experience with them, they have absolutely no interest in truly reforming the schools. Reasonable conversations about how a variety of community stakeholders can work together to get things done are rejected and they continue to encourage the status quo.

A grand jury with all the facts indicted the alleged criminals. Let a jury decide whether the charges are trumped up or not. Dragging these folks in front of a court is the only way to start introducing real accountability for allegedly committing a crime. Cheating kids and changing their answers on a test, which is essentially a government document, is a crime. And if accountability truly goes to the top, Beverly Hall should be held accountable.

Mary Elizabeth

April 2nd, 2013
1:31 am

“. . .Dr. Hall didn’t invent the CRCT, nor was she the one that made that test the be-all and end-all. That decision was made by our federal government in all its wisdom and Dr. Hall, like other superintendents, was working in a system that made that test and others like it the sole arbiter of success.”
===============================================

“Ay, there’s the rub!”

As I have recently written on this blog, standardized test results should be used only for diagnostic purposes. Coercion for schools to achieve unrealistic standardized test results, and the establishment of unrealistic educational goals for all students, massively, must be rejected. Test scores should be used only to ascertain the correct instructional placement, and the correct level of instruction, for each student, individually – irrespective of the student’s grade level assignment. Standardized test score results must never be used for bonuses for teachers or for schools, nor should they be used to dismiss teachers or to cut their pay. Evaluations of teachers must be multi-faceted.

As much as I support the policies of President Obama, in general, in the matter of his “Race to the Top” educational policy, with its heavy emphasis upon standardized testing as the main criteria for determining a school’s success, I believe that this national educational policy should be revisited and altered so that school environments, across the nation, will not be so filled with tension and fear.

Education should be about excellence, but excellence that develops within a nurturing school environment and one in which reasonable, realistic expections are set, and met, for each student, individually, based on the individual student’s potential. Determining the student’s potential, his/her correct instructional placement, and his/her rate of mastery of instructional objectives, should be the purpose of standardized testing – not to determine a school’s overall educational status in relation to other schools or to establish an administrator’s bonus.

There are multi-faceted ways to assess teachers, just as there are multi-faceted ways to assess the excellence of schools beyond a simple listing of each school’s standardized test score results. Each school’s student population will vary, which will cause a variation in test results for differing schools. One cannot compare the test results for a given school’s student population with the test results of another school’s student population with validity, just as one cannot compare apples to oranges with validity. Each school is composed of different populations of students, with differing aptitudes and needs.

Bernie

April 2nd, 2013
2:05 am

Thank-you Mr. Schall For expressing A voice of Reason and Fairness in an otherwise, Mob Mentality Witch Hunt.

One can indict A Ham Sandwich….and it in the end, it is still a Ham Sandwich.

There are A lot things being presented so far, that are very FISHY. One being, The RICO allegations seems to be a bit over the TOP, I agree.

MM

April 2nd, 2013
2:21 am

“Is it illegal to be an overly demanding boss?” Well duh, YES in some circumstances!!! The purpose of RICO prosecutions was to stop mafia dons (and now APS superintendents) from insulating themselves from prosecution for murder (here, total indifference to providing a good education) just because they insulated themselves from the actual killing by using layers of intermediaries (here, APS “Executives,” principals, and teachers.) The don’s fingerprints on a “smoking gun” was replaced by evidence of clear conspiracy and the mafia has not been the same since. The key to a successful RICO prosecution was that lower level conspirators were rewarded with lighter sentences in exchange for “turning state’s evidence.” May it be the same with APS. Good hunting Mr. DA!

Maureen, shame on you for even asking such an excusatory question. This is not a simple matter of an overly demanding boss asking for higher levels of work output. What Hall demanded was silence and compliance in an act of stealing what little promise of a good future many APS students had. American education (and life) is not a level playing field in part because of the extremely chaotic life many poor kids are exposed to but also because of the visible corruption exemplified by Hall and other elites willing to turn their backs for decades on an on-going disaster they knew was occurring.

People’s lives were/are at stake. Don’t trivialize what happened at APS with such simplistic questions.

Burroughston Broch

April 2nd, 2013
3:29 am

If the “old” AJC were still in control, and if its traditional business model had not evaporated, there would have been no investigation and expose’ of APS. The old AJC would have collaborated with the mayors of Atlanta and the Metro Chamber to keep the matter shoved under the rug and out of public view. The matter does not reflect well on the “progressive” politics and image that they collectively want to sell.

Faced with today’s realities, the “new” AJC has been forced to change its business model. But, the “old” AJC still exists inside the “new” AJC, and occasionally shows itself.

I believe that Maureen is part of the “old” AJC and, given her wishes, would defend Beverly Hall and her team tooth and nail. She was reluctant for years to face the facts and, when the facts became overwhelming, was reluctant to criticize too harshly. Now she questions whether the matter was due to Beverly Hall being an overly-demanding boss. The same might have been said about Adolf Hitler. Of course, Beverly Hall has not killed anyone (to my knowledge), but the end result of her tenure has been 10+ years of children deprived of an adequate education and a fraud foisted on the public.

Perhaps the term “academic genocide” is not too much of a stretch.

Top School Atlanta

April 2nd, 2013
3:41 am

Yes, in this case you narrowly apply the LAW, too
In other words…Beverly Hall can assist in the process of retaliating against anyone that would challenge the system through the APS’s own grievance procedures and she is just a bully boss.

Falsifying documentation, the misuse and the taking of public funds based on false data, along with creating an environment that was so toxic for anyone to speak up…and you narrowly somehow scrape the bottom of a scum bucket to find a positive word to support her.

Maureen, you did not live through the evil behind this administration …nor did you experience trying to challenge it through APS procedures of filing a grievance (which was ignored) or the court system.

You trivialize corrupt leadership that created a sick oppressive system that had this much power to silence honest people?

Your blind eye approach has been recorded in history.
Shame on you for writing this piece.

Top School Atlanta

April 2nd, 2013
3:51 am

Kathy Augustine’s testimony will make you regret writing this piece of BS. I think this open letter to Beverly Hall is appropriately written on another blog from Dr. Clayton Alford. It sums up the sociopath Atlanta hired to run APS.

Open Letter to Beverly Hall

Dear Beverly Hall
It’s me, Clayton Alford formerly from JHS 113 K in Brooklyn, New York, the last school you were principal of before your rapid rise up the education ladder. I am now Dr. Clayton Alford, University Professor. So Beverly, can you share with us how does it feel to be indicted by a Grand Jury? What a come down from your lofty pedestal. You were such a tyrant at JHS 113 K, your reign was one of terror and harassment, and you even used your subordinates to spy on the staff and in some cases turn pedagogical staff members against one another. Your means of survival was intimidation and harassment.

I understand there was mass corruption and cheating under your leadership or lack of leadership in the Atlanta Public Schools and you profited substantially from your mis-deeds and the innocent poor children of the Atlanta School District were victims of your reprehensible deeds. Remember the students of Atlanta, they are the ones, educators were supposed to be concerned with, and true educators don’t profit from the backs of the downtrodden and afflicted. Some have even compared you to Michelle Rhee, the unethical former Washington, D. C. Schools Chief; but I don’t think Rhee has been implicated in any cheating scandal and at least she did go into classroom, but not to help them but rather to intimidate educators. Beverly, you used fear tactics to keep your subordinates in line.

You of all people should had been steadfast in your stewardship of the Atlanta Schools, you followed the poor example of Dr. J. Jerome Harris your mentor; however, as bad as he was, Dr. Harris was never charged with a crime. If you don’t escape these charges you will be convicted as a felon and go down in history as the worst educator in US History. At least everyone will know you, as that was your primary purpose, you sought fame and fortune, but did not want to put in the hard work and you lacked ethics and morals as a guiding force. Whatever happened to transformational leadership?
Did you know that your leadership style is being discussed in seminars? Educators are now discussing the problems of failed leadership such as yours; at least you will be forever discussed in educational circles. Beverly you are infamous and you undoubtedly will be talked about as a disastrous education leader for generations.

You often lauded your Jamaican roots, describing yourself as an influential Jamaican who leads a large urban school district. Have you returned to Jamaica since your rise or fall from Power? I hear Montego Bay or Ochos Rios is lovely this time of year. I guess it is too late to escape to Jamaica now and you might be modeling the latest prison clothing line soon if you don’t talk your way out of these charges. Perhaps you can cut a deal and re-pay the money they gave you in bonus pay; after all you certainly did not earn it or you earned it under false pretenses. A list of the charges leveled against you include: racketeering, theft, influencing witness, conspiracy and make false statements.

I don’t know about racketeering, or theft, but I know for certain you are an expert at tampering with witnesses, conspiracy and lying under oath. As I recalled, you swore under oath under penalty of perjury to tell the truth in a fraudulent charge you initiated against me, but you lied repeatedly, and now the lies you told about your lack of involvement in the cheating scandal in Atlanta came back to haunt you. Gee, you are getting pay-back in spades.
My heart goes out to all those innocent victims you abused; those students who only desired to get a decent education. However, you robbed them of that and that is the ultimate tragedy in this case, the students in the Atlanta School District for 11 years under your leadership did not receive an adequate education. Like it or not Beverly, when you assumed leadership of the District, you became accountable. I understand you hired some capable attorneys to represent you. You will have to cover your legal expenses since the Atlanta School District will no longer foot your legal expenses, so all that money you frequently acquired, can go toward your legal expenses.
Good leaders care about subordinates and good educational leaders put the students first. An immoral leader as you and I apparently know you are doesn’t care about people and walk over people to achieve their objectives. How could you justify your maleficence? Was the money that important to you? I guess it was considering your impoverished background. So many corrupt educational leaders came out of District 13, you, Dr. Harris, and Argie Johnson, however, Beverly your tenure lasted longer than your two mentors.

In other words, you were an immoral leader. A serial liar, corruption followed you throughout your career and you got away with your crimes up until now. I understand you used a driver to chauffer you around Atlanta, gee, your subordinates must have cringed when they saw your SUV pull up as you took your imperial walkabout through the corridors of Atlanta Schools. Did you ever think about the students and their needs Beverly? Did you consider the consequences of your actions? I guess not, you were too busy abusing the hard working teachers and principals of the district to get ahead; therefore you stepped on and over your subordinates, a pattern you perfected in New York and Newark, New Jersey.

Too bad the good people of Atlanta did not read your dissertation or thoroughly checked your background to gain a semblance of your psyche and they would have sent you packing. The educators of District 13 would had told them about your lack of professionalism and distrust of subordinates and stepping over people in order for you to look good in the eyes of the media, business leaders and national educators.

You know Beverly, the internet is amazing, it showed you being feted by Arne Duncan, the Secretary of Education, but he did was not informed of your greed and abuse of power. But Beverly, I got to hand it to you; I did not think you would last this long and fool people of Atlanta the way you did. Clever of you; unfortunately, you failed to cover all of your bases. Somebody in your inner circle is about to turn States’ evidence against you.

I understand your deputy Kathy Augustine will give the low down on your corruption, remember, Kathy, the Assistant Superintendent, who left Atlanta, went to De Sota School District, lasted one day, got a year’s salary and now will be a damaging witness against you. Augustine cut a deal, it seems and she knows the full story of the cheating scandal. I wish I could be in the courtroom to hear Kathy give Stat evidence against you. Recall the old saying, “The very people you climb over to get to the top, will he the very ones you see on your way down.”

So Beverly, who will be a character witness for you? Let me think, J. Jerome Harris, has little credibility, as he was dismissed from the Atlanta School District, Argie Johnson the former Superintendent of Brooklyn District 13 can’t help you, she was fired from the Chicago School District. Maybe you can call Linda Trager, Viola Abbott or Jim Battaglia those co-conspirators you used so effectively in Brooklyn. But remember, Beverly, I can also testify at your hearing. I might surprise you with my testimony, but at least I would be truthful.

Before I go, I must tell you that people in Brooklyn know all about case it is on the news here and is accessible on the internet. It seems you and more than 30 others are indicted in the school cheating scandal. But Beverly, there does not seem to be anywhere for you to run or hide these days, remember they tracked you down when you ran off to Hawaii, I saw you pleading for privacy and claiming you lost your voice. For someone who is always so vociferous you had little to say when that reporter tracked you down.

In closing, I will await your surrender and watch as you enter your plea, your bail seems to be substantially high, I hope you can make bail or you will have to eat the sub-standard prison food. Good luck at trial Beverly, you can be assured and I others will be watching.

Dr. Clayton Alford
New York City, NY

dougmo2

April 2nd, 2013
5:26 am

Re: Dr. Clayton Alford,

Just Damn

dougmo2

April 2nd, 2013
5:29 am

Maureen look up the legal term ‘willful blindness”. I think that is what the DA will use against Queen Beverly.

Jack ®

April 2nd, 2013
5:35 am

Hall is guilty of conspiracy. I don’t know how Schall can think otherwise. She knew exactly what was going on and conspired to cover up the scandal and she got a lot of help along the way.

Jack ®

April 2nd, 2013
5:39 am

And the Concerned Black Clergy has a job to do: the cheated children need them and the people that brought them into the world need them.

Dc

April 2nd, 2013
6:11 am

The devil (in this case, the (crct) made me do it!!!! What a load of complete BS

The criminals running our banks tried the same excuse re their govt regulations. Stop with the excuses. There is no justification for what went on

Lee

April 2nd, 2013
6:27 am

“The Concerned Black Clergy is holding a 10 a.m. press conference today where local attorneys are scheduled to speak about the overreach of the charges.”

And what does the Concerned White Clergy think about all this?

Oh, wait……

Would the “Concerned Black Clergy” be concerned if Beverly Hall were white?

The only way many of these black kids can escape from the mean streets of ghetto Atlanta is by education. The black superintendent, the black administrators, and the black teachers robbed the black students of this opportunity by setting up a Ponzi Scheme of achievement. The black district attorney brought charges against them and the mostly black grand jury indicted them. Now, the black clergy is crying fowl.

I swear, Hollywood couldn’t make this stuff up….

gdfo

April 2nd, 2013
6:36 am

Re-defining a charge does not change the charge. There is a big difference between being Over demanding and encouraging cheating to make money. Then to actually blame the CRT tests is an old arguement. It is also a technique. Blame game.

To use the word ‘torture’ for what has happened in the Press to Beveraly Hall is sheer propaganda.

If a ‘ham sandwich’ is passed off as a roasted pork tenderloin then there is something wrong. If you ordered a roast pork tenderloin in a restaurant and were served a ‘ham sandwich’, would you eat it? I would send it back.

mountain man

April 2nd, 2013
6:37 am

Was there ever any REAL evidence that Hitler ordered all those Jewish people killed? He was just trying for excellence and was demanding and when he said that removal of Jews helped Germany, his minions must have misinterpreted and done all the gruesome work themselves. Yeah, that is the argument that Lawrence Schall makes for Beverly Hall.

concernedmom30329

April 2nd, 2013
6:50 am

Unless she was stupid, she had to have known that something was fishy with those numbers. Schools with marginal scores or worse scores on nationally normed tests had these awesome CRCT scores.
Improvement is incremental. There are no group miracles, occasionally an individual can exceed overnight, but not a whole group.

mountain man

April 2nd, 2013
6:57 am

I read the Bill Cosby speech that was posted yesterday. Part of it was about the failure of blacks to take responsibility for their wrongdoing. Like the mother and aunt that covered up for the 17-year-old who (allegedly) killed the 13-month-old baby in cold blood.

Now the Concerned Black Clergy is defending Beverly Hall, before any evidence has been presented. Why are you not looking out for the students of APS instead?

George

April 2nd, 2013
6:58 am

As an educator of over 20 years in a metro system close to Atlanta it was common knowledge that the Atlanta test scores were not true scores. I am not saying I (or we) knew why the scores were wrong. just that they would not tell the truth about a students ability. I really had no idea that teachers would go as far as they did to cheat. I assumed they were given the content of the test early and taught the information. I know one year I taught fourth grade and I had a dear cute little boy that was new to our school coming from Atlanta City. He could barely read or do math maybe a early second grade level. I spoke to my principal about him, her reply was wait until we get his CRCT test scores from last year. The record finally came I rushed to get the CRCT scores to prove that my student needed help but to my shock he had scored almost in the gifted range in every subject. Needless to say he didn’t get extra help other than what I could provide because my principal said he was just being lazy. This child was not lazy he had been cheated by Atlanta City Schools. I would bet that he will be one of the drop outs, when I think if he had the proper education in the early years he was college material.
All of this to say that if educators across the metro area knew about the Atlanta City test scores Dr. Hall surely knew. I may not understand all the legal issues but in my opinion everyone involved in the cheating in any way should been listed on just 35. No boss can make you do wrong!! To break any law is a personal choice.

Another Voice

April 2nd, 2013
6:58 am

Full disclosure would show this “article” for the sham that it is.

Dr. Schall doesn’t mention his board membership (and past presidency) of Project GRAD-Atlanta. Drs. Augustine and Hall were also board members, as Project GRAD-Atlanta was one of the programs that Dr. Hall insisted that the district take on when she accepted the superintendent position. So he had ample opportunity to observe what was going on – and apparently found no reason to end the association. I guess now he’s somewhat in a position of needing to justify that he didn’t know what was going on, so he doesn’t look foolish.

Maureen, you should have indicated this “conflict of interest” in your preface.

bootney farnsworth

April 2nd, 2013
7:00 am

concerned black clergy can kiss my non black butt.
where they hell were those race pimps when Hall & her goon squads were destroying a generation of black children’s futures?

Maude

April 2nd, 2013
7:01 am

Dr. Trotter where are you? You have been after Dr. Hall forever we need to hear from you.

bootney farnsworth

April 2nd, 2013
7:03 am

Schall once again reminds me why none of my kids went to Oglethorpe.

he is just doing what the admin types do when one is in trouble – close ranks and protect themselves.

mountain man

April 2nd, 2013
7:12 am

“Is it illegal to be an overly demanding boss?”

It is if the boss is demanding that you do something illegal. If my boss says “either you fudge these numbers on this report to the IRS, or I will fire you” that is being overly demanding AND ILLEGAL. Now what is the difference between saying that and saying “the numbers for this month had better show increased profit or you can find another job”. All the while you are told that your department has to lay off half of the employees and that the price of goods sold will drop by 20%. You just work miracles or you are fired!

bootney farnsworth

April 2nd, 2013
7:13 am

I’ve worked for two real horses butts in my time.

one was a ex marine who thought he could run things like when he was in the corps (note to Obama, its pronounced CORE). at your desk by 8:00. latest. work til he was tired. family issues were for the four hours a day when you were home, or for the “little woman”

the guy was an ass, but treated everyone the same, stayed within the rules, and asked nothing commitment wise he didn’t do himself.

the other played blantant favorites, lied/shaded the truth constantly, never met a goal post which couldn’t be moved mid kick, and played very fast and loose with the rules/law. but to be fair, that was damn near everybody who held any position of power during the Tricoli debacle.

category 2 is where Hall falls.

This is Mrs. Norman Maine

April 2nd, 2013
7:15 am

Well I’m glad somebody said it! No one is excusing what happened with APS nor condoning the actions of the teachers and administrators but criminal charges? RICO?! The whole thing is an overreach if I’ve ever seen one.

This is not unusual for Paul Howard. I truly believe he is one of the worst DAs in the country. He tends to go for headlines instead of doing the right thing.

mountain man

April 2nd, 2013
7:16 am

As Bill Cosby says – why are you asking about why your son (who was running out of the door of a grocery store with stolen bread and a gun) got shot in the head by the police. Why are you not asking why he had the bread in the first place? Why are you not asking where he got the gun?

It is no wonder that blacks consider Bill Cosby an “Uncle Tom”. He talks about responsibility. I guess having responsibility is “acting too white”.

bootney farnsworth

April 2nd, 2013
7:17 am

@ mountain

isn’t it disturbing Schall doesn’t seem the recognise or care the difference?

Hall isn’t in legal trouble because she was a petty tyrant and horses’ butt. she’s in legal trouble because there are laws on the books governing behavior in relationship to how you may treat employees and the conditions in which you receive federal and state money

clanmack

April 2nd, 2013
7:17 am

Beverly Hall, if this overreach, is in the same circumstance that most alleged criminals are in. This seems much more than that. Agreed, Ms Hall was a tyrant by description-no crime there. Dr Alford’s letter outlines the development of a pattern of leadership, clearly unenlightened, leading to criminal outcomes. Imperial, fear based leadership proves the emperor has no clothes. Whatever happens from here on out are the consequences. If the Concerned Black Clergy come out in her favor they serve no one but themselves.
Idea: leadership serves the employees (teachers, administrators and principals) so they can serve the students-it is called servant leadership. The current APS leadership doesn’t seem to be much better-it is opaque, not transparent.

mountain man

April 2nd, 2013
7:18 am

“No one is excusing what happened with APS nor condoning the actions of the teachers and administrators but criminal charges? RICO?! The whole thing is an overreach if I’ve ever seen one.”

So what is your solution? Just let everyone go with a slap on the wrist? “Y’all guys just do a better job of cheating, next time, you hear?”

bootney farnsworth

April 2nd, 2013
7:21 am

@ Mrs Norman

I agree on two points:

DA Howard is not who I’d like to see in front of this. that idiot has lost winnable cases before with questionable (re; borderline insane IMO) tactics

I agree RICO is a stretch, but I also think it applies. Hall and her goons were engaged in an organized criminal enterprise. but I sure wish it were in the hands of someone competent (see above)

bootney farnsworth

April 2nd, 2013
7:24 am

can’t help but wonder if part of Schalls concern is if the RICO sticks, he and his admin pals could find themselves with serious ’splanin to do

bootney farnsworth

April 2nd, 2013
7:26 am

@ clanmack

Concerned Black Clergy have never served anybody BUT themselves

bootney farnsworth

April 2nd, 2013
7:30 am

if anyone was “tortured” (shame on you, Schall) it was the hundreds of teachers who lived under this reign of insanity without the means to jet away to Hawaii when Hall ran amok.

Linda

April 2nd, 2013
7:50 am

Wow, these charges are indeed far reached and not responsible in nature. While I understand that both the lives of our children and these educators are affected, I would think some other penalties less than what was rendered would have been fair. I see deeper below the surf than what we are left with and that is a legal and educational system set up to fail all parties involved. The school system in America is geared to keep our children “dumb down” and so you set our children up to fail with these tests which are beyond the educational reach of success. There is a very interesting article written by Brother Jon, which sheds light on what master mind is behind our whole failed education system which was set up as far back as the early 50s, that being the head Rockefeller.

Second, here we are pitted against one another instead of addressing the issues at hand with some good common sense to change a failed system to something which benefits our children.

Third, to the great teachers who work with our children in more than likely over populated classrooms — I take my hats off to you and they should be paid whatever they request for salaries. I’m a new homeschooling mom of a special needs child and the scales were truly purged from my physical eye. I commend those who are doing their jobs under thes most difficult circumstances in an already, cleverly mapped out system to fail. Our children.

Here’s where fault should be placed and people rise up to boot there buns out and allow our educators the opportunities to really educate our children. As far as I am concern — we don’t have a win – win situation but a free for all pit fight against each other. In these days where this country is going to h-e-l-l in a hand basket, we need to wake up for the handwriting has been plastered to the wall for eons! Wake up people! These indictments are way to over the top,

Jim Buck

April 2nd, 2013
8:07 am

If only the concerned black clergy were as concerned about ethical behavior instead of trying to justify the lack of it.

Bob

April 2nd, 2013
8:12 am

Dr. Schall tells us he is a trained lawyer and his training as a lawyer helped him see things in the indictment we do not. He gives three examples of why the charges are weak, the first being that the feds developed the CRCT, not Hall. Not being a lawyer myself I wonder what this first point has to do with Hall being accused of cheating. This has nothing to do with who designed the test, it has everything to do with Hall running a scam and being rewarded financially. During Hall’s tenure she also was involved in an attendance records scam and I believe APS screwed up a federal deal that gave schools new technology which cost us millions in lost upgrades. The concerned black clergy were silent when it came to the kids being hurt but show up to help Hall because Hall is where the TV cameras are, they want face time and do not care about the kids.

Looking for the truth

April 2nd, 2013
8:15 am

It’s not illegal to be an overly demanding boss. It shouldn’t be.

What is illegal is the atmosphere of intimidation that existed because she wanted her bonus and bonuses for her minions. Taking money for a job not done is fraud – pure and simple.

Maybe these are not the right charges, but robbing children of a future by not educating them hasn’t yet been addressed in our legal system. This seems to be the only way to do it.

Anonymous in DeKalb

April 2nd, 2013
8:24 am

Without spending too much of my morning on this … Mr. Schall insults our intelligence by suggesting this is mostly about Hall’s “management” style, rather than outright fraud and the suborning of perjury to conceal that fraud.

And his calling the CRCT “infamous” exposes a fundamental bias which should undermine what remains of his argument—in the eyes at least of parents, taxpayers and all citizens who value education.

skipper

April 2nd, 2013
8:26 am

If the concerned black clergy would address the real issues: fear of “acting white”, responsibility for one’s actions, gang problems, kids in school (or not) from one mom and multiple dads, and quit claiming police brutality every time a crackdown on the crime-ridden areas occurs, more problems could be solved. Sad, but true.

Dr No No

April 2nd, 2013
8:31 am

When she said “by any means necessary,” she authorized cheating, therefore she is guilty as sin and should be hung with her pointy toed high heels on, imho!

Rocketman

April 2nd, 2013
8:44 am

Hall didn’t “lose her job”. She retired, likely knowing what was coming.

Freedom Works

April 2nd, 2013
8:45 am

The RICO statute is probably the most abused law in the court system today. It is used by prosecutors at both the state and federal level when they have nothing else they can prove. It is generally used as a big stick.

Fundamentally what can be said about these folks who were indicted? At the heart of the government education system is a funding mechanism that is based on the crime of theft. It is committed by the government and they call it taxation, but it is theft nonetheless and if you or I were to do it, it would be a crime. Additionally, the premise that what children are receiving is an education is in itself a complete fraud committed by government every minute of every day.

Government education in and of itself is a crime against society and the children it destroys. That everyone who contributes to this system is not in jail right now is the greater injustice. These folks are the current scapegoats being sacrificed to attempt to please the gods of citizen compliance. If parents and the general public are not appeased with sacrifices like these every now and then, they might begin to question the lie that government should be running the schools or that they actually benefit anyone. And we couldn’t have that.

Amazing

April 2nd, 2013
8:50 am

The author has hit the nail on the head. I am not an atorney but even think the RICO charges are an overreach. The author is not suggesting a pass for Ms. Hall for the other charges which I also agree are appropriate. I do not condone Ms. Hall’s actions but she is not the equivalent of a mafia don nor a drug kingpin. Is she a liar and cheat? The evidence suggests she was and if so she should pay. But, let’s be real, her actions are similar to that of Wall Street that contributed to the financial crisis. One more observation. The potential bail for Ms. Hall has been projected to be $7.5 million. A recent insider trading case set bail for the defendant at $4 million. The bail for a woman accused of murdering her husband, Andrea Sneiderman was only $500,000. This simply is not logical.

Timmy

April 2nd, 2013
8:52 am

Go back to running Oglethorpe, doc.

hssped

April 2nd, 2013
8:53 am

Concerned Black Clergy of Metropolitan Atlanta, Inc., (CBC), is the primary, proactive and principle-centered organization comprising mostly of African-American ministers and laity. Our mission is to provide leadership, advocacy and service to the homeless, helpless and hopeless in our community.

I guess they thing Bev is helpless and hopeless and soon to be homeless!!

takefive

April 2nd, 2013
8:53 am

Nixon didn’t do the break-in, but he was part of the cover-up. Anybody doubt he should have been prosecuted? RICO may be a stretch, but it is just one tool in the box to get the guilty.

reality check

April 2nd, 2013
8:53 am

The question put forth in this blog, “…is it illegal to be an overly demanding boss?” is outrageous. Anybody who would even ask it doesn’t know the difference between right and wrong.

Disgusting.

2020

April 2nd, 2013
8:57 am

Dr. Clayton Afford says everything that can be said and I agree with him wholeheartedly.

skipper

April 2nd, 2013
8:58 am

CBC,
I respect your mission, but you are falling WAY SHORT!