ATLANTA, Georgia (WXIA) -- The indictment alleges former superintendent Beverly Hall created a "succeed at all costs" mentality, which encouraged cheating and discouraged whistle blowers, resulting in a cheating scandal which metastasized through the Atlanta public school system like a cancer.
"There is a single-minded purpose, and that purpose is to cheat, to manipulate the grades. What we are alleging is that she was a full participant in that conspiracy," said Fulton County District Attorney, Paul Howard.
Superintendent Hall was one of 35 educators indicted on charges ranging from racketeering to lying to investigators to theft for the annual bonuses educators collected based on bogus test results.
Former Attorney General Mike Bowers says the criminal charges send a strong message to anyone who would cheat children out of a quality education.
"These little children, that were so badly put upon by Beverly Hall and the school system, have been further vindicated today," said Bowers.
While the indictment does not include evidence that superintendent Hall directly instructed educators to cheat, it alleges that Hall and other conspirators would interfere with, suppress and obstruct investigations into cheating using various methods.
Like the case of Justina Collins, who brought her concerns to the school board in 2006 after her daughter scored exceptionally well on the annual C-R-C-T exam, despite struggling through much of the third grade.
"I'm disappointed. As a parent that wants the best for their child, I'm very disappointed," said Collins.