Christopher Waller, a former assistant principal at Cousins Middle School, is one of the 35 educators named in the Atlanta Public School cheating scandal.
Waller was employed as principal for Parks Middle School and, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, one of the key players in the scandal. He, along with former APS Superintendent Beverly Hall, was indicted by a grand jury on charges that they conspired to cheat on standardized tests in order to receive cash bonuses. According to prosecutors, Hall received a $78,000 bonus that year for improving test schools in the Atlanta Public School System.
The accusations began in 2009, when 44 of the 56 Atlanta Public Schools investigated by the state were found to have teachers who erased incorrect answers on state standardized tests. According to the investigation by Governor Nathan Deal’s office, the cheating was a result of educators attempting to meet their targets in a “data-driven environment.”
Waller, along with the rest of indicted educators, are facing charged of racketeering, false statements and writings, among other charges, according to the AJC. Those indicted have until Tuesday to turn themselves in. The grand jury suggested that bail for Hall be set at $7.5 million, though a judge can decide to set a different amount.
Waller’s school, Parks Middle, has four teachers that were accused of conspiring to cheat on the tests, according to CNN. He is accused of pressuring teachers to cheat as early as 2006.