Yes Cheating is Awful!

justiceYes cheating is awful. And so is conviction before a fair trial. I believe every accused person deserves a fair trial under a set of laws that promises to be just and balanced. I don’t support public hangings. It is barbaric. Never have and never will. I didn’t in the horrendous Nichols and Johnston murder cases though some of my political advisors thought I could improve my voter favorability if I did.  I didn’t then and I won’t now. The eagerness to convict someone cannot take precedence over our demand and respect for the fundamental legal principle that everyone who is charged has a right to a fair trial with competent representation.

Some 50 plus years ago in grade school, I learned about America’s judicial systems and principles of law and my parents reinforced these principles throughout my childhood. Frequently Ruth, my mom, said, “everything that glitters isn’t gold.” Reminding me to think about the circumstances and situation instead of its appearance. My father’s life was full of challenges and a spectacular recovery from alcoholism (that is how he described it) and as a Pennsylvania State Court judge he never wavered in his teaching that,” under the law everyone in America deserves a fair trial and competent representation. And everyone charged with wrongdoing or a crime is not guilty”. These early lessons in discernment stick with me today.  My parents still expect me to act according to these principles and to stand up for them as fundamental values in my life.

As hard as it may be to hold true to these principles now——these are precisely the times that test our commitment to our values. I worry about these principles whenever young or poor people are charged with crimes because I know how few legal resources they have to defend themselves and how dogged the prosecution process can be. Even if they are cleared in a court of law, some will face financial ruin.  Our system of justice isn’t perfect and requires checks and balances to mitigate against its imperfections.

Prosecutors, judges and jurors make mistakes and overreach. The media can too easily slip into business mode reporting only one side of the story or as if ratings, trending and profit matter most.

For those who think it is too dangerous to push back or speak up when we read or hear the horrendous public assaults on APS. You would be right– it is. I know first-hand. Rabid bloggers have come out of the woodwork to attack me, my family and my opinions but few will address the issues I have raised.

How else do we protect our democracy than to demand respect of the principles of fairness and justice even in challenging times? If you agree don’t worry about posting on this blog or talking with your neighbors and coworkers, say a prayer for a fair trial for all those charged, say a prayer for every family and child who has been touched by the scandal and say a prayer to calm the public lynching mob mentality that has begun. In times like this, reflection and soul-searching are powerful tools to ground our actions and decision-making.



  1. Doug Wilcox says:

    Of course, play the race card. If unqualified blacks weren’t hired in the first place this wouldn’t happen. All they do is hire their unqualified, corrupt, black friends, This is true of APS as well as nearly every public office in Atlanta. Wake up people – are you completely blind? Atlanta is the biggest joke in the country.

    • Doug,

      Wow!! What a racist statement. I’m caucasion and I’ve traveled the world and lived in some of the wealthiest places in the world and my main residence is in Atlanta because I love the people and the city. Some of the biggest crooks in u.s. history were white. maybe you should check your facts before speaking. It’s not the unqualified black people and if you don’t like atlanta then keep your nose where it belongs and out of Atlanta’s business, And if you do live in Atlanta and hate it I say move because we don’t want uneducated, ignorant people like you here. The black people is what makes Atlanta so great and former Mayor Shirley Franklin was the best mayor Atlanta ever had in my opinion and I wish she still was Mayor.

      • Whatever! Franklin did nothing for this City. Nothing; Except get rich and get on Corporate Boards. A race does not make a city good or bad, that my friend is an ignorant statement. And speaking of wealth, maybe you should stop hob-nobbing with the wealthiest and lend a hand to tutoring some poor minority students; instead of a PR machine for mayor, and black clergy. Sickening!

      • Doug Wilcox says:

        I think & your bleeding heart should stop your whining & wake up. Shirley Franklin? The only thing she was great at was hiring her unqualified black friends. She & Beverly Hall are 2 peas in a pod.

      • Dr. Browne says:

        @ Chad… Very well said… I agree with you, and I don’t live in Atlanta, but, I n my opinion the greatest Mayor Atlanta ever had was Mayor Maynard Jackson.

  2. Julie Brown says:

    How much was Andrea Sniderman’s bond, the wife & mother who was indicted for conspiring with her boss/lover–murdering her spouse while her child and 50 other kids were at daycare??

  3. Public lynching mob?

    The cheating scandal became public four years ago. The GBI investigation was published two years. Then it went to a grand jury and only then were there indictments. There is a lot of anger in the community, no doubt, but what has transpired thus far is both the literal and figurative opposite of a public lynching mob.

  4. Beverly Fraud says:

    Shirley do you STILL stand by your statement that Beverly Hall was a “great leader” who left APS better than when she found it?

  5. Beverly Fraud says:

    Rabid bloggers have come out of the woodwork to attack me, my family and my opinions but few will address the issues I have raised.

    Shirley, you ran away from tough fair and legitimate questions about your support of Beverly Hall faster than Usain Bolt ran away from his competitors in the London Olympics.

    What information were you given about the possibility of WIDESPREAD SYSTEMIC cheating, and what did you do as a self proclaimed “advocate” of APS children to see that the “miracle gains” were indeed legitimate?

    Why did you continue to support Beverly Hall even AFTER the cheating scandal broke in the AJC?

    You won’t answer these and other questions yet you say OTHERS won’t address issues? As if Beverly Hall is some young, poor black woman with the “resources to defend herself”.

    Please. Seriously. You’re embarrassing yourself.

  6. Beverly Fraud says:

    Chad, shouldn’t that be the black people ARE what makes Atlanta so great? If you’re going to talk about “ignorant, uneducated people,” I suggest you first make subject/verb agreement your friend.

  7. shirley says:

    I support a fair judicial process, Madame Fraud. It is that simple. I believe you, I and everybody else deserves their day in court with competent representation. Public thrashing, hysteria and media overload can hamper the fairness of the trial. If I wanted to duck and hide, I wouldn’t blog or invite and post dissenting points of view.

  8. John Mason says:

    Several of the bonds have already been adjusted from the amounts recommended by the grand jury. That was to be expected.

    Comparing this process to a lynching is completely absurd. If you do anything, you should apologize for that statement given the historic and racial connotations that brings to the discussion.

    These are serious crimes and the impact will be felt for many years from now. I’m far more concern about the children who received, yet again, a substandard education and the impact that will have on their lives going forward. The public reaction, given the facts and the breath of the scandal, is completely understandable.

    As many of those in local public service should have learned by now. The public is simply fed up with you. Clayton, DeKalb, APS and the City of Atlanta have been mismanaged for years. The corruption and political graft has become intolerable and inexcusable.

  9. Former Bureaucrat says:

    Um, harsh commenters, y’all don’t know. I worked under Maynard, Andy, Bill, and Shirley. Those who say she didn’t do anything but hire her cronies, y’all don’t know. I was too low on the totem pole to know much during Maynard and Andy’s terms, but I saw a lot during the last two executives. I can say that as a manager and an executive, she was the best. We didn’t have to cover for bullshit, we were told “no lies”. Now, did I say she was not a really good politician? I didn’t say that. What I said was that she had wisdom, guts and a backbone, qualities sorely lacking in our current and past crops of city, county, state and federal elected officials. Now, you can jump on me, a lowly civil servant who worked for years trying to do right and to do good so I could look my Mama in the eye without shame. Lord knows, I didn’t get enough bread to make a shit sandwich tasty.

  10. Beverly Fraud says:

    For those who think it is too dangerous to push back or speak up when we read or hear the horrendous public assaults on APS.

    Dangerous Shirley? Because someone talks about you? Shirley people, African-American people included, lost CAREERS due to administrative retaliation for speaking out about cheating during the Hall regime.

    Why does the CBC, and you as well, seem more “concerned” about disgraced, now indicted educators, than the DEDICATED, ETHICAL educators who lost their careers advocating for their students?

    • Julie Brown says:

      @Beverly Fraud: the concern in the community is the amount(s) of the bond. While many has used the race card regarding this issue–Judge Jerry Baxter who is white reduced the bonds.

      In terms of former Mayor Franklin and the Concern Black Clergy speaking out, that’s a good thing and they should be commended for it. I find it interesting Sam Williams (Metro Chamber of Commerce) has remained quiet when that organization helped with the allege cover-up and shame on the mass media allowing the Chamber to go unexposed.

    • Top Public School says:

      The grammar is on the level of the idiots on most of the comment sections in newspapers and blogs.The court system narrowly applied the law. If you can read and you don’t have ties to the “Reich” or the northside Warren T. Jackson hood. din you undirstant it toataly. Otherwise, those white folks jest keep on coverin up white crap in the same old dirty litter box. It smells and Bucket heads dont care for that “truth” odar.

  11. an APS parent says:

    Dear Mayor Franklin,
    Did you have children in an Atlanta Public School during Mrs. Hall’s tenure? were they or their school affected by the undisputed rampant grade manipulation?
    Will your children now go through the rest of their education, especially when they apply to institutions of higher education with an asterisk by their grades

    If the answer to those questions is no, then ma’am you truly don’t understand the level of anger in the city you used to govern.

    There is a saying, “A fish rots from the head first.” The only political person who outranked Mrs. Hall during muh of her tenure was you. Are you now worried about what might come out?

    • Julie Brown says:

      @ APS Parent,

      I respectfully suggest you should contact Sam Williams with the Metro Chamber of Commerce. I cannot speak for the Times Mayor of the Year however; the proof is in the pudding and if you were to dig down deep you will find who ruled/controlled Barbara Hall and how decision were made. If you wait patiently, you will find out at the trial, Im sure Kathy Augustine has a story to tell and more than likely will be a cooperating witness.

  12. Dear former Mayor Franklin,

    Show me exactly where you stood up for the kids and the parents and condemned the actions of the APS which mind you took place under your watch as well. Show me the post where you spoke with parents who are now faced with the difficult choice of possibly relocating due to this mess. As a Black man, I am tired of seeing the Black government elite in this city circle wagons around their own…this time at the expense of the kids and their education.
    The facts that we do know is that grades were adjusted. All the blubbering about hearing their side of the story when this entire situation has been investigated is another way of saying “But what had happened wuz…”
    The civil rights movement was practically birthed in this city. And sadly WE have done more damage to our kids than what Jim Crow could have done.

  13. I agree with former Mayor Franklin…cheating is awful. The problem is that what many of you do not understand is that the children within the APS system are cheated on a daily basis. I have been watching this system for at least 8 years and I have seen children cheated for at least 8 years. They are cheated when: Teachers don’t greet them when they enter a classroom, when Teachers do not properly or adequately prepare lesson plans, when they are told they are in the “gifted” program and they are only performing on grade level, when classroom behavior trumps learning, when people stand before them that they intuitively know don’t give a damn about them and pretend to teach them something. They are cheated when the school spends millions of dollars on manipulatives to teach them math, but you never see them or the teacher use them, when Teachers are out of the building15 minutes after the bell rings, when after school enrichment programs boast of enriching activities and in fact serve the children crap. They are cheated when school test scores clearly show them failing, but their parents push for and get social promotions.

    Now the damn shame part of this mess is that the media will have the public believe that the children are behind because of the cheating scandal when the fact of the matter is that the children would have been behind if no scores had been changed. As long as there are children in the 8th grade that do not know their basic math facts but are exjpected to sit in algebra classes and actually learn algebra, there will be cheating. The question that no one seems to want to answer is this. Why couldn’t the students pass the test on their own? If they were in fact receiving a quality education NO ONE WOULD HAVE NEEDED TO CHANGE THEIR TEST IN THE FIRST PLACE! If you ever want to truly know just how badly these children are being cheated I invite you to visit an APS middle school and speak to the children. I promise if you do you will most certainly find that the way in which these children have been cheated is so much bigger than a standardized test.

    • Buford T Justice says:

      Great point. No one is talking about why these children couldn’t pass the test in the first place. And that’s where the conversation gets uncomfortable. A lot of it is on the parents. One of the elementary schools, Dunbar maybe, has only two dad’s in the entire schools. Every other child is from a single mother household.

      That’s shameful

  14. Kelly Crews says:

    My question is WHAT IS BEING DONE FOR THE KIDS? I want to know what are the alternatives being made available for these UNderEDUcated kids! All the prosecution in the world isn’t helping these kids get their fundamental education back on track! Why are the resources, ONCE again, being used on the wrong things! How much is it going to cost (in time and money) to prosecute all of these cheating administrators and teachers, and is there ANY allocation for remedial education being made available!!

  15. Fred Durst says:


    Pardon me but these people are cheaters and responsible for compromising the futures of black and white children.

    This is a disgrace and your attitude is what I would expect from a Democrat.

    Shame on you Shirley for dismissing this.

  16. Fred Durst says:

    This comment has been removed for violating our comment policy

  17. Buford T Justice says:

    The root of the public anger and the “lynch mob” mentality is due to the actions of those charged, especially Beverly Hall. They have deliberately portrayed themselves as innocent victims in this situation while deceiving the City of Atlanta for YEARS. If all of the evidence that has been presented came to light and they were indicted shortly thereafter, the hatred for these thieves and liars would not have built to the point it has under the current circumstances. To those of us with children in APS, the disdain and contempt for parents and the community was palpable. APS was run like a crime syndicate and those responsible are finally getting their comeuppance. I hope they all are financially ruined, spend significant time in jail and never are in the position to teach children again. They are reaping what they sowed.

    Shirley Franklin, I thought you were an admirable leader and a much needed breath of fresh air following Bill Campbell. You ran the City like a business and we are still benefiting from your leadership. Why you would choose to stick your neck out for this mob of near-do-wells is beyond me.

    Justice is being served, methodically and rationally. Please don’t chastise the public for the joy we feel for finally seeing justice served.

  18. Of course the bail is high. Some were charged with Racketeering. Thats what you get when using a criminal conspiracy to make money. Smae thing the mafia does (without the murder) This is absolutely SHAMEFUL. Cheating their children’s future to line their pockets!

  19. Top Public School says:

    Looks like the same sociopath’s smile leading the Northside Atlanta Buckhead Jackson School.

    Ask Beverly Hall what it feels like to be held accountable for her wrong doings…but when it comes to holding the Principal at Jackson Elementary responsible for collaborating, misuse of funds, falsifying documents etc…The Jackson leader gets off without a blemish. And what makes Warren T Jackson’s leadership different from the others? Does it have something to do with the color of her skin. I think so!

  20. Top Public School says:

    Yes, Shirley they are lynching Hall and continue to cover up Jackson Elementary Schools leader Reich involvement in the same corrupt activity. What a shame. Why do you think they want to hold one corrupt leader accountable…and let the other go without mention. Does it have something to do with the color of the Northside leader’s skin or the neighborhood she lives in?

    Why? I don’t know why?

    In 2004 Beverly Hall was still superintendent of APS. This Press Release was considered NOT NEWSWORTHY by the AJC. It never received public attention because the AJC and the business community were still covering up the “cheating scandal”. Beverly Hall hired a team of individuals who monitored every news article about Atlanta Public Schools. They along with northside business associates quickly put out this APS Northside fire. Although, the documents and video taped testimony of teachers and administrator Reich support the information in this article the power of the “Buckhead Way” was able to influence the judges to decide to narrowly apply the law. MR. SAM WAS NOT FIRED. There was abuse and retaliation and apparent corrupt activity by the APS system, but Mr. Sam was not fired for attempting to tell. The judges dropped the case without addressing any of the retaliation issues, misuse of public funds, or Reich’s testimony that supported her corrupt issues of falsifying documents involved in this case.
    Narrow application of the law prevented the leak of any of the details involved in this case …in a right to hire , right to fire state… bottom line…Mr. Sam was not fired.

    PRESS RELEASE- Sent to all Atlanta News Media – February 5, 2004

    Atlanta School Teacher Alleges Discrimination, Abuse of Authority and Falsified or Misleading Documentation at Award-Winning Elementary School–Sues to be Reinstated

    Today -February 5, 2004, a federal suit was served on the Atlanta Public School system and a school official alleging they retaliated against teacher John Sam, Jr. after he challenged discriminatory practices used to assign students to classes, abuse of the admissions process, financial mismanagement, and other improper practices. In addition, the lawsuit alleges that the application documents sent from Warren T. Jackson Elementary School in the Northwest section of Atlanta to the U. S. Department of Education to compete for a “National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence” award were false or misleading. Jackson was one of the Atlanta schools that received National Blue Ribbon recognition in the 2000-2001 school year.

    According to the complaint, Mr. Sam was harassed, humiliated and transferred to another school, after he challenged the management ethics and practices of Principal Loraine Reich. Mr. Sam was especially concerned about the practice of placing all English as a second language (ESL) students in one section of the school, regardless of grade or age, and calling it a “Family Suite.” He sites numerous instances of intimidation and threats issued by Reich to any staff who questioned her practices or authority.

    “Jackson operated like a private school funded by the taxpayers,” said Sam. “If you had the right parents or your family came from the right background you could enroll at Jackson, no matter where you lived in or outside of Atlanta. If not, you didn’t stand a chance.” Mr. Sam expressed concerns about the process and data used to justify Jackson’s application for recognition as a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence by the federal Department of Education. He raised concerns about submissions to the Georgia State Pay for Performance program.

    Further, the complaint alleges that when Mr. Sam requested that minutes from school Leadership Team Meetings be accurate or to tape record the meetings, Reich and others threatened him, humiliated him in front of colleagues, and forced him to stay in closed door meetings while he was verbally abused for extended periods by Reich. “At that moment I realized I had no option but to file a grievance. When that failed to bring about an end to the corrupt practices and the retaliation escalated. I felt I had to file this lawsuit so I could regain my career and inform the public of the issues plaguing Jackson Elementary and many others in Atlanta Public Schools. Teachers are petrified to speak out. All they have to do is look at what happened to me at the hands of my Principal and the APS Administration to know they need to keep their mouth shut unless they want to find a new career.”

    Despite over ten years of outstanding performance at Jackson Elementary and over seventeen years in education service, Mr. Sam was suddenly placed on a performance review plan shortly after he sought to address the troubling problems he witnessed at the school. However, the plan was merely a ruse to pressure him. Mr. Sam’s supervisors never followed through on the plan. As a result of the continual humiliation and pressure placed upon him, Mr. Sam was eventually forced to resign his teaching job.

    The Government Accountability Project, a leading national whistleblower organization, is supporting Mr. Sam’s effort to bring greater accountability for school administrators and better support to teachers in the classroom. “We know that teachers like John Sam throughout the country have the best information about what is happening in the public schools—information parents, legislators and taxpayers need to properly assess their school system’s performance,” said staff attorney Doug Hartnett. “This case demonstrates that teachers are powerless to challenge wrongdoing without risking devastating consequences. It isn’t just school employees that get hurt when administrators act this way. Ultimately, the children suffer.” Government Accountability Project is calling for the Atlanta Public Schools to reconsider the action taken against Mr. Sam and to fully and publicly investigate the charges in his complaint. “We expect students to be accountable for their actions. At the very least, we expect educators to model that behavior, Hartnett added.

  21. Top Public School says:

    Vendetta… No I think everyone involved in the Beverly Hall regime needs to be held accountable. The white folks, too.

    I rite this way so the educashional elites can show thir power. Hope it grates on your nerves while you gosipp about it at the Cherooookee Country Club. How did you ever let such a dumb ass work with your children for 13 years. And I guess those superior evaluations were falsified too.

    And by the way @ know the truth
    I was not dismissed from Warren T. Jackson Elementary.
    I was involuntarily transferred midyear the day after Christmas break.
    that was after teaching 13 years at the Jackson School …3 of which were under the corrupt leadership of Lorraine B. Reich.

    After 3 years of watching her segregate Hispanic students, give teachers days “OFF” without recording the absence, watch her hire her own daughter to work in the office, randomly make up bonus checks from $300 to $3000 to hand out to faculty with no criteria, win an award without the proper documentation of work for the award….

    I filed a grievance …asking APS to explain how public money was spent on a faculty that did nothing to deserve it. In less than 6 weeks after filing that grievance…I was involuntarily transferred to AD Williams and told I would be assigned to assist a first year teacher.
    I was not dismissed because I did not “fit” in the Buckhead school. I was involuntarily transferred for filing a grievance. Lorraine Reich, Beverly HALL and Kathy Augustine…with their signatures.

    And Millicent Few provided the documentation that states…these are considered bonus checks …where did the money come from and WHO authorized this?

    I have documentation with 13 years of superior evaluations…not a blemish on my file until I signed a grievance and opened an investigation to disclose unethical corrupt misuse of public funds conducted by Reich and supported by Beverly Hall and Kathy Augustine.

    And to make it clear…you don’t @know the truth
    because you don’t have the documentation to support your truth.

    Lorraine B Reich is as corrupt as Beverly Hall and Kathy Augustine and the others. They worked hand in hand. She created false information during an investigation, tampered with witnesses, created false evaluations to harass employees, and recklessly collaborated a plan with Beverly Hall and Kathy Augustine to transfer teachers based on her false accusations.

    And the reason she still sits pretty in her principal chair at Warren T. Jackson Elementary…is because WHY? I don’t know WHY.

    BUT, if you ask me what I think… My QUESTION would be this… if it doesn’t have to do with the COLOR OF HER WHITE SKIN and the political motives of BUCKHEAD. then why are the POWERS in APS still afraid of addressing her history of corrupt activity. That’s what I think…based on the facts I have in documents…and what I’ve observed Erroll Davis do since replacing Beverly Hall. He has done NOTHING…BECAUSE OF THE POLITICS involved to hold her accountable for falsifying documents during an investigation would be detrimental to his position in the BUCKHEAD COMMUNITY.

    Yes, I believe RACE has something to do with APS. That’s why Reich has favor over BEVERLY HALL and KATHY AUGUSTINE. If her race was of another color other than “white”, and she did not live in the “Buckhead” community…someone would have question her corrupt behaviors and she would be held accountable like others that have done much less without documentation.

  22. Top Public School says:

    Get out yer gramer pins…and git to work. another rant for youins people think yer so smart.
    When you have nothing and you are stuck in the hole with the TRUTH always correct the run on sentences, sentences ending with preopositions, spillin messtakes, that makes you look smart.
    Go at it…HOODS on the Northside with just as much corruption as a bunch of drug dealers. You jest sellin another drug…called lies and cover-up.

  23. Top Public School says:

    The grammar is on the level of the idiots on most of the comment sections in newspapers and blogs.The court system narrowly applied the law. If you can read and you don’t have ties to the “Reich” or the northside Warren T. Jackson hood. din you undirstant it toataly. Otherwise, those white folks jest keep on coverin up white crap in the same old dirty litter box. It smells and Bucket heads dont care for that “truth” odar.

  24. Julie Brown says:

    Will the Metro Chamber of Commerce be held accountable?
    Excerts from The New York Times, March 29, 2013 article:

    Community Pressure

    What made Dr. Hall just about untouchable was her strong ties to local business leaders. Atlanta prides itself in being a progressive Southern city when it comes to education, entrepreneurship and race — and Dr. Hall’s rising test scores were good news on all those fronts. She is an African-American woman who had turned around a mainly poor African-American school district, which would make Atlanta an even more desirable destination for businesses.

    And so when Mr. Perdue challenged the test results that underpinned everything — even though he was a conservative Republican businessman — he met strong resistance from the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce.

    “There was extensive subtle pressure,” Mr. Perdue said. “They’d say, ‘Do you really think there is anything there? We have to make sure we don’t hurt the city.’ Good friends broke with me over this.”

    “I was dumbfounded that the business community would not want the truth,” he said. “These would be the next generation of employees, and companies would be looking at them and wondering why they had graduated and could not do simple skills. Business was insisting on accountability, but they didn’t want real accountability.”

    Once the special prosecutors’ report was made public, it did not matter what the business community wanted; the findings were so sensational, there was no turning back.

  25. Julie Brown says:

    Remember? The E-Mail that Demonstrated Atlanta Chamber of Commerce Attempt to Cover-Up the APS Cheating Scandal:

    Atlanta’s chamber of commerce spearheaded the first investigation of test cheating in Atlanta Public Schools last year. The Blue Ribbon Commission’s 15 members “consisted mostly of business executives or others who had done business with the school district or who had other civic or social ties to the district or to (Superintendent Beverly) Hall.” It concluded that cheating was limited to 12 schools.

    In a thorough investigation by Atlanta Journal Constitution reporter Alan Judd, it was revealed that the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce sought to do much more than investigate on cheating. As it was clear, that significant doubt and hostility for the Commission’s report existed, it created a “communications team” An astonishing E-mail to team members from Renay Blumenthal – a senior VP at the chamber – revealed what lengths they were prepared to go to.

    On Aug. 5, Renay Blumenthal, a senior vice president at the chamber who had worked with the Blue Ribbon Commission, sent the team an email that laid out a plan to silence skeptics, including then-Gov. Sonny Perdue and school board members who wanted a deeper investigation.

    The team, Blumenthal wrote, should focus first on getting Perdue and the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement to “understand and accept” the commission’s report.

    “The media and the rogue board members are annoying and distracting at best,” she wrote, “but what will make us dead in the water is if GOSA and the Gov discredit and/or not accept the report.”

    If Perdue’s office accepted the report, she said, “you’ve pulled the stinger out of whatever the media and board members could say next.”

    Further, Blumenthal wrote, officials needed to provide a “graceful exit strategy” for Perdue and Hall, suggesting further inquiries be left to the Professional Standards Commission, the state’s teacher licensing agency.

    “Let the Gov say the BRC provided a terrific road map that he is referring immediately to the PSC,” Blumenthal wrote. “And then let Hall say she agrees and welcomes the PSC’s involvement and expertise.”

    Finally, she suggested appealing to Perdue’s chief of staff and executive counsel.

    “The Gov trusts and listens to them,” Blumenthal wrote, “and I think we could finesse this thru them.”

  26. The race card– again?! What these teachers and administrators did is undermine the integrity of all teachers and all schools. AND they compromised the education of the children (who were mostly poor and black). Is that fair to these kids?

    • Julie Brown says:

      No one is defending those who did wrong. They will be held accountable accordingly. Their was an uproar regarding the original bond amount(s).

  27. People who lost their jobs for speaking out against cheating and scandal don’t care about “hysteria”. They are just glad the truth is coming out. I’m sad that no one in power questioned Hall on miraculous scores and allowed her to claim it was racist to question them. She and her staff have ruined an entire generation of students in this city.

  28. Burroughston Broch says:

    I hoped for something more substantial from this website on this sorry subject.
    It has been percolating in and out of the news since 2001 when Jean Dodd publicly and loudly called attention to it in APS Board meetings.
    For years, Mayors Franklin and Reed, the Metro Chamber of Commerce (particularly Sam Williams), and the old timers at the AJC tried to kept the genie in the bottle and the bottle swept under the rug. This came to an end when the AJC’s new masters decided it was in their business interest to expose this sorry subject.
    Trying to calm public outrage is a wasted effort.

    • Top Public School says:

      Yes, some of us have been around long enough and can see the paper trail clearly.
      The AJC is milking this for all it’s worth and still riding both sides of the fence.

  29. Top Public School says:

    No Vendetta here… I think everyone involved in the Beverly Hall regime needs to be held accountable. The white folks, too. APS Northside Warren T. Jackson Elementary (Buckhead’s PRIZE WINNING SCHOOL HAS SECRETS, TOO but the AJC hides them) This school’s principal has not been held accountable for her corrupt activities under the reign of Beverly Hall. Principal Reich worked with Hall, Augustine, Few, and Cotman (Johnson) to cover up the misuse of public funds and falsification of attendance records in her school along with numerous other corrupt activity that was carefully documented.. Is it because she is WHITE? and the she lives in the elite Buckhead neighborhood? It appears so…

    Read more:

  30. Dr. D. Farmer says:

    Madame Mayor
    I don’t know if you will remember the Hungry Club Forum in 2005 when I walked over after your speech and suggested someone had transposed your numbers relative to the graduation rate. You said “no, that’s a testiment to the success of Dr. Hall.” I smiled and walked away because I dared not confront you with the fact that it was statistically implossible to see that significant change in less than a 20 year span. I did go to the publisher of the Atlanta Voice and tell her, but she passed on writing a story and I personally didn’t have the time as I too was on the campaign trail and not for school board so I left it alone. I believe the members of the Board of Education should have known… well. Still I agree the bail is excessive for Hall; however, it terriefies me to know a generation of Atlanta youth have been retarded by being robbed of an education and will never have a successful life. My prayer is the Lord allows His Spirit to reign and all will be well for all the innocents in the matter.

  31. VERY INTERESTING CONVERSATION just now. I’m here at Starbucks/Conyers, and putting sugar in my Pike, talking about the foul weather, another customer says “I’ll take it.” We’d never spoken before, but I had seen him in the shop from time to time. So I turned the weather-speak into Franklin-Speak. As I suggested, how theres a pro and con to the weather/how some people look forward to poor weather for many reasons, the same goes for the weather around former Mayor Shirley Franklin. So I say to the somewhat stranger, I was just reading… and it seems she has her admirers & haters too. The White guy comes RIGHT OUT SWINGIN, oh Mayor Franklin was a GREAT MAYOR. And I spoke on my brief meeting with her; but THIS GUY WENT IN. He said “I’ve been in government for over 20 years…” and he spoke about the Mayor preceding Franklin and how he was convicted for hiring friends/contracting friends, etc. “But Mayor Franklin not only took fire for being a woman,” he said, “but she came in with a no nonsense approach and CLEANED ATLANTA UP!” I didn’t take this cat to be a cheerleader of any kind, but his details were air-tight, as was his demeanor. He had no idea who he was talking to, or my influence, but he did break down Atlanta and the scandal and the politics with this last statement… “Either way you slice it, I want people ‘in there’ who can do the job…” and that goes for education, government or coffee @Starbucks. To all of you fair-weather cheerleaders, sourpuss ‘rabid’ bloggers and others who easily pass judgement before doing any research/without knowing Mayor Franklin, I don’t have a problem with telling you to GET A LIFE.

  32. Pamela Harris says:

    What about equality of all persons before any judicial body without any distinction whatsoever as regards race, color, ethnic origin, sex, gender, age, religion, creed, language, political or other convictions, national or social origin, means, disability, birth, status or other circumstances; and having adequate opportunity to prepare a case, present arguments and evidence and to challenge or respond to opposing arguments or evidence?
    In my opinion the names or faces of the accuser or accused should not be made public in criminal cases by having their names and images broadcast on network news.
    If by chance, the accused is found innocent, the harm done to them by the media which influences public opinion can be irreversible and damaging. Don’t you think that the media and a rush to judgment should be held off until the trial is over?
    Mayor Franklin, when I read YOUR Blog stating your feelings and opinions, I was saddened by the dark unyielding opinions and comments made by the uninformed hurting individuals. While reading the various comments, I thought that people of reason can rarely compete with those whose interest is personal and complete.
    If I were to ask, do you know Shirley Franklin?” Most of your bloggers might say yes; how much time have you spent with her? Really knowing someone is often something that’s taken for granted in today’s society. I would venture to say that very few know you and nor do they understand your journey or know of your distinguished and rich heritage.

    “In my opinion” if we mortals could see the manifestation of the words that we speak each day and understood the impact and creative power, they wouldn’t speak. Our words shape lives and have the power to create and destroy while cementing our true character in stone.
    I believe that everyone is responsible for his or her own actions; when judging others, get all the facts. There are Fact Finders & Fault Finders, there is a difference. The fact Finder see’s the good as well as the bad. The Fault Finder is biased in favor of faults. I believe that there is more good than bad. My worst could be your best & vise versa. “He, who is without sin, cast the first stone”.

    Character is about our finer features & traits that will be remembered for all time; on the other hand reputations come and go and are the work of other persons, opinions that will vary like the waves on the beach. Do our words determine where our hearts are? If your heart is hard, then it will show by what you say. If you are bitter, then you will find yourself talking about it, because bitter people love to spread it around. Kind words are like honey — sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.
    Mayor Franklin, continue to believe in and support others, hold fast to your convictions and be yourself. This is your journey and your Blog!

  33. Top Public School says:

    Yes, Shirley they are lynching Hall and continue to cover up Jackson Elementary Schools leader Reich involvement in the same corrupt activity. What a shame. Why do you think they want to hold one corrupt leader accountable…and let the other go without mention of her misdeeds?

    Ask Beverly Hall what it feels like to be held accountable for her wrong doings…but when it comes to holding the Principal at APS Warren T Jackson Elementary responsible for collaborating, misuse of funds, falsifying documents etc…The Jackson leader (the “Reich”) gets off without a blemish to her name. What makes Warren T Jackson’s leadership different from the others? Does it have something to do with the white color of her skin or her Buckhead home address? I think so!

  34. A public hanging?! Does she compare teachers and administrators who lie and cheat for the sake of furthering their careers and pocketbooks (even though it compromises kids’ education) to the hanging of innocent black men, women and children? Maybe she should read a history book before making that extreme claim.


  1. […] In a blog post, former Mayor Shirley Franklin of Atlanta on Tuesday called the fury surrounding the indictments “a public hanging” and called for fairness and justice as the case proceeds. […]

  2. […] cheating is awful,” she writes on her blog. “And so is conviction before a fair trial. I believe every accused person deserves a fair […]