Former HR Head Pleads Guilty

It’s never a good day for HR when it has to share a headline with the word “guilty,” but that’s the latest development in Atlanta’s standardized test cheating case, courtesy of UPI:

The former Atlanta Public Schools human resources chief pleaded guilty in a standardized test cheating case, the highest ranking educator to admit wrongdoing.

In a plea agreement announced Monday, Millicent Few, 55, said former Atlanta schools Superintendent Beverly Hall knew of the cheating and ordered Few to destroy investigations of suspicious score increases on standardized tests, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Tuesday.

The report says Few alleged Hall ordered the shredding of documents from an internal investigation of cheating. Few said she became convinced by 2008 of widespread cheating in the school system, but didn’t tell investigators about it when she was questioned in 2011.

According to the report, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter told Few that because she was “up at the top” of Atlanta Public Schools’ leadership chain, the prosecutors in Hall’s upcoming case need Few as “an important witness.”

“It’s their position that you observed it first-hand,” Baxter told Few.

Few, who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of malfeasance in office, will likely testify against her former boss during Hall’s trial later in the year. (Hall has pleaded not guilty.)

“I want to sincerely apologize to the citizens of Atlanta and specifically the students,” Few told the court. “I want to apologize to them and I look  forward to hopefully moving forward with my life.”

Video of Few’s apology can be view here. Before moving on, though, perhaps Few needs to send one more apology: to the greater HR community.

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