Former APS superintendent Beverly Hall dies - CBS46 News

Former APS superintendent Beverly Hall dies

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ATLANTA (CBS46) -

Former superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools Beverly Hall has died.

Hall, 68, had been battling Stage IV breast cancer. She was first diagnosed with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer in 2004.

She had been in the care of Laura Weakland at Georgia Cancer Specialists since 2011.

A native of Jamaica, Hall was appointed APS superintendent in 1999 after working in New York and New Jersey schools.

During her decade here, Atlanta students --many of them poor --improved dramatically on the state standardized tests.

Hall won the prestigious Superintendent of the Year award in 2009 and raked in huge performance bonuses.

Dr. Hall resigned in the wake of the CRCT cheating scandal.

Hall and 12 other former APS educators were charged with cheating on standardized tests.She was expected to go to trial to testify about her involvement in April 2014, but a judge postponed it.

Hall always claimed her innocence. She never took the stand in the trial.

Hall's legal team released the following statement:

"It is our sad duty to acknowledge that Dr. Beverly Hall has lost her long, difficult battle against breast cancer. Dr. Hall fought this disease with great courage and dignity. For the last year and a half, Dr. Hall's directions to her doctor have been simple: get me well enough to stand trial; and to her lawyers: see to it that I get a fair trial. She was never concerned about the outcome of such a trial, only that the process be fair. She never doubted that in a fair trial, with the jury hearing the state's contentions and her rebuttal, to include her own testimony, she would be acquitted. In the end, she was not strong enough to go to trial although that had been her earnest hope.

"As the Superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools, Dr. Hall fought, as she had throughout her career, for urban school children and their ability to learn. She believed to her death that all children, regardless of circumstance, could learn if provided with proper teachers, curricula and facilities. But we now know that there were some educators at APS who cheated in an effort to show improved learning. Dr. Hall long ago accepted responsibility, as the head of APS, for the unfortunate truth that some educators cheated on standardized tests. She was deeply sorry to learn that this cheating had occurred. At the same time, Dr. Hall continued to have deep faith in the thousands of dedicated APS educators and students who worked hard to achieve real learning and success. But one fact never wavered-- to her dying breath she denied any role in directing, ordering, or participating in any cheating at APS. Even after millions of dollars, hundreds of witnesses and interviews, and a review of thousands upon thousands of emails, not a single witness has said, nor a single email demonstrated, that Dr. Hall ordered, directed, or participated in cheating. On the contrary, Dr. Hall's tireless efforts to raise standards of education at APS for every child under her care starkly contradict the notion that she somehow conspired to orchestrate widespread cheating. She rebuilt schools, prioritized literacy, improved teaching, developed leaders, and modernized support systems.

"As we have in the past, we continue to maintain Dr. Hall's innocence of all charges brought against her. The lawyers of our firm and the other lawyers who worked to defend Dr. Hall donated thousands of hours of their time at no charge to Dr. Hall and her family because we believed in her. Our pro bono defense was intended to spare her and her family the crushing expense of her defense at a time when she was least able to afford it. We have been proud to serve as her counsel.

"We express our heartfelt condolences to Dr. Hall's family and to her many friends and supporters."

CBS46.com will have more information as it becomes available.

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