Former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin called the state investigative report into widespread cheating on standardized tests in Atlanta Public Schools "pretty scary."
However, she said, former Atlanta School Superintendent Dr. Beverly Hall deserves credit for her successes.
"I'm not here to defend Dr. Hall, and I'm not here to smear her," said Franklin, during an interview Saturday. "I'm here to say this is where we are now. We need to take this opportunity and move forward with it."
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal released a report Tuesday that Time magazine is calling "likely the largest cheating scandal in U.S. history to date." It showed officials at nearly 80 percent of 56 Atlanta elementary and middle schools examined cheated on annual student-performance tests, called Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests.
Hall, who retired last month as head of the 48,000-student district, is accused of creating a culture of fear, pressuring faculty and administrators into accepting ever-increasing targets of achievement and turning a blind eye to the way those goals were achieved.
Hall, who was named National Superintendent of the Year in 2009, was already in charge of the school system when Franklin became Atlanta's mayor in 2002. Franklin left office in January 2010 after serving two terms.
The fact only a few people in Atlanta thought it was crazy that one year most of the kids were failing and the next most were passing, everyone connected to the system is to blame. Now we have a decade of kids who were moved on with the proper teaching and will most likely fail as they get into college or a real job. Its a shame but there is a whole lot of blame to go around including parents who never questioned what was going on in the system.