Hall has worked as the superintendent of schools in Queens, New York; Newark, New Jersey and was appointed superintendent of the Atlanta Public Schools in 1999. In 2009, the American Association of School Administrators named Hall as National Superintendent of the Year, due to Atlanta’s “significant gains in student achievement over the past 10 years.” The outstanding performance of her district on the state’s standardized exams put her at the forefront of the education reform movement. Her accomplishments gained the favor of then U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan who introduced and frequently mentioned her as a success story and invited her to the White House.
Hall resigned in 2010 after she and 35 Atlanta educators and administrators, were charged with racketeering, theft, influencing witnesses, conspiracy and making false statements – a case that plagued the city and was commonly referred to as the “Atlanta cheating scandal.”
A state investigation ordered by Governor Nathan Deal in 2011 said that 185 educators, including the defendants, participated in cheating at 44 schools, often by erasing students’ wrong answers and bubbling in correct answers.
She was indicted on March 29, 2013, by a Fulton County grand jury in relation to her role in the scandal.
The Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal trial is still underway with Hall and 12 other former Atlanta Public Schools employees who are accused of participating in an effort to correct students’ standardized test score answers in 2009 to make their schools’ results appeal better than they were.
Twenty-one other defendants have already pleaded guilty.
The Jamaica-born Hall moved to the U.S. to attend college. She received her undergraduate degree from Brooklyn College (1970); her master’s degree from the City University of New York and later her Ed.D. from Fordham University in 1990.