Target: Texas Education Agency
Goal: Investigate and prosecute administrators accused of inflating district test scores
The El Paso School District of Texas has recently been victim to a large-scale cheating scandal. Former superintendent Lorenzo Garcia has been sentenced to prison for masterminding the scandal which raised district test scores at the expense of student education. But as the federal investigation continues, court documents point to at least six co-conspirators who have yet to be publicly identified and punished. Call upon the Texas Education Agency to reinforce its efforts and bring justice to all parties affected by this education disaster.
Mr. Garcia’s plan to improve test scores throughout the El Paso district nominally pointed to the goals set out under the No Child Left Behind Act. In reality, children were not just left behind, they were left out. Garcia’s efforts focused on a state-mandated test taken in sophomore year that measures skills in reading, mathematics, and other subjects.
Students targeted as poor-performers were asked to skip school on test day, were transferred to charter schools, or were discouraged from entering the district schools all together. Some students were held back and then allowed to catch up with “turbo-mesters,” essentially skipping sophomore year entirely.
While Mr. Garcia and his cronies were lining their pockets with the bonuses generated by their scheme, students were abandoning their educational goals forever. After being told they were not smart enough to take the state test, many students gave up and quit school, derailing their lives forever.
Even worse, Garcia’s henchmen may still be at large in the El Paso school district. Unlike other cheating scandals where adults provide aid to students in the classroom, this scandal is particularly devastating because it forces students out of the classroom all together.
Call upon the Texas Education Agency to investigate this ongoing crisis and reform what has clearly become a broken system.
Dear Texas Education Agency,
The recent cheating scandal in the El Paso School District has been devastating to the education of its students. Many students, having been told they were not smart enough to take the state test, quit school forever. Others have been passed around from one school to the next, or from one grade level to the next, without having received a proper education.
While former superintendent Lorenzo Garcia has been sentenced to prison, court documents show that there are most likely at least six other co-conspirators working in the El Paso district administration. Having seen the devastating effects this scheme has already had on students in this district, it must be your top priority to find and remove these administrators before more harm is done. Students in these struggling schools deserve more than greedy administrators.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: doviende via Flickr