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District's leader to leave job

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ATLANTA --- The superintendent of Atlanta's public schools, who faced calls for her ouster over a test cheating scandal, said Saturday that she will leave her job in June.

Beverly Hall said that she will be taking on "new educational challenges" when her contract expires at the end of the school year. She did not offer additional details on her plans.

Hall took the post in 1999. She was credited with raising student test scores and graduation rates, an achievement recognized last year by the American Association of School Administrators when it named Hall its superintendent of the year.

Critics began calling for Hall's firing after a statewide review showed a high number of erasures on first- through eighth-grade standardized tests taken at 58 schools in spring 2009. The 50,000-student district completed an independent investigation that determined most of the suspected cheating happened in a dozen schools.

Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue ordered a state probe into the suspected cheating at both Atlanta and Dougherty County schools. Agents from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation have been interviewing teachers.

Hall ordered tutoring for students at the affected schools, reassigned a dozen principals to jobs where they do not directly work with students and turned over the names of more than 100 educators to state authorities for investigation.

Hall said resolving the state investigation into possible test tampering is one of two significant challenges her school system faces. The second is a pending review by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools that was triggered by a leadership rift on the city's school board.


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