- what Lorenzo Garcia, the former superintendent of the El Paso, Texas Independent School District, will get sentenced today for his part in a scheme which fraudulently inflated test scores in his school district.
- why The way the district did it was particularly messed-up — they held back numerous low-performing students in the ninth grade so they didn’t take part in the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills test, which students take in the tenth grade. Some students were told to drop out. Even worse, Garcia benefitted financially, receiving $56,000 in bonuses for high test scores. source
» How students reacted: Hundreds of students were removed from the district during the period. “They took away my high school, my time,” explained one student, Cesar Diaz, who was kicked out of school on claims that he was living in Mexico. “I wanted to study in the U.S. because I’m a U.S. citizen. My future is in the United States.”
STORY TIME! When I was in the 10th grade, every student in Texas has to take the TAKS test’s precursor, TAAS. There were 3 public high schools in my hometown plus an alternative vocational school. The (almost all white) high school that regularly performed the best bussed all of their low performing students to the alternative school for the 6wk grading period that included the TAAS test. The district was obviously aware of this, after all the buses had to be arranged. Every year, that school earned Texas’ highest ranking based on their astronomical TAAS passing percentage. The other two high schools kept all of their students for the exam, and to this day people from our area look at me like I’ve sprouted a second head when they find out I’m a PhD candidate teaching courses at a giant university who graduated from the bad school. I’ll let you figure out what bad school is code for on your own.
So this doesn’t surprise me one tiny drop, and if you think it’s limited to this one man in El Paso you are cracked. I do think it’s a little funny that people are noticing now that a man named Lorenzo Garcia is up to no good when they were fine with
turning a blind eyehelping Mr. McWhiterton cheat the system for decades.