Texas test scandal ex-school chief faces 3.5 years

A former superintendent is scheduled to be sentenced Friday for his part in a scheme to fraudulently improve high-stakes school testing scores in the El Paso Independent School District by getting rid of students likely to fail, the Associated Press. Lorenzo Garcia pleaded guilty in federal court in June to two counts of fraud and faces up to 3½ years in prison. Garcia admitted to devising a scheme to keep hundreds of low-performing sophomores from taking the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills test. Some students were held back in the ninth grade while others were told to drop out before the 10th grades accountability tests. The district thus gave the appearance of improving academic performance, meaning it was able to qualify for more federal funds. Garcia personally received at least $56,000 in bonuses. Court documents indicate at least six other people helped Garcia organize the scheme. An FBI investigation continues…

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