Sunday, January 21, 2018

Ex-school chief in Texas sent to prison for cheating on tests

EL PASO, Texas — A federal judge sentenced the former superintendent of El Paso Independent School District to 31/2 three years in prison Friday for his participation in a conspiracy to improve the district's high-stakes tests scores by removing low-performing students from classrooms.

Lorenzo Garcia's scheme to prevent hundreds of sophomores from taking the accountability tests fooled authorities into believing that academic standards had improved in his West Texas district — resulting in a boost in federal funds and personal bonuses totaling at least $56,000.

Garcia pleaded guilty to two fraud counts in June; one in the testing scandal and another in which he misled the School Board so that his lover would receive a $450,000 no-bid contract to produce school materials.

Judge David Briones sentenced him to 3½ years on each fraud count, to be served at the same time. Garcia also was ordered to pay $180,000 in restitution and fined $56,500 — the amount he received as a bonus for success on the test scores.

Court documents indicate at least six people helped Garcia organize the testing scheme. Mark Morgan, the FBI director for El Paso, said the inquiry continues.

Garcia, who was hired in 2006, implemented a plan with several other administrators that allowed for the pre-testing of 10th-graders to identify those who were likely to fail the standardized tests. The method was intended to keep low performing students from taking tests used to measure its performance under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

Comments
Nadal beats Schwartzman, reaches Aussie Open quarterfinals

Nadal beats Schwartzman, reaches Aussie Open quarterfinals

Rafael Nadal got a good fitness test in his almost four-hour, 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-3 win over Diego Schwartzman to reach the Australian Open quarterfinals for the 10th time
Updated: 4 minutes ago
Nadal beats Schwartzman, reaches Aussie Open quarterfinals

Nadal beats Schwartzman, reaches Aussie Open quarterfinals

Rafael Nadal got a good fitness test in his almost four-hour, 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-3 win over Diego Schwartzman to reach the Australian Open quarterfinals for the 10th time
Updated: 4 minutes ago
Pence meets Jordan king on trip clouded by Jerusalem move

Pence meets Jordan king on trip clouded by Jerusalem move

The United States' controversial shift to recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital was expected to be front and center Sunday during Vice President Mike Pence's meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah II
Updated: 7 minutes ago
Pence meets Jordan king on trip clouded by Jerusalem move

Pence meets Jordan king on trip clouded by Jerusalem move

The United States' controversial shift to recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital was expected to be front and center Sunday during Vice President Mike Pence's meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah II
Updated: 7 minutes ago
Taliban attack on Afghan hotel ends after 13 hours, 6 dead

Taliban attack on Afghan hotel ends after 13 hours, 6 dead

Taliban assault on the Intercontinental Hotel in Afghanistan's capital kills at least six people, including a foreigner, and pins security forces down for more than 13 hours before the last attacker is killed
Updated: 17 minutes ago
Taliban attack on Afghan hotel ends after 13 hours, 6 dead

Taliban attack on Afghan hotel ends after 13 hours, 6 dead

Taliban assault on the Intercontinental Hotel in Afghanistan's capital kills at least six people, including a foreigner, and pins security forces down for more than 13 hours before the last attacker is killed
Updated: 17 minutes ago
Sebastian Korda follows in father's footsteps at Aussie Open

Sebastian Korda follows in father's footsteps at Aussie Open

Twenty years after Petr Korda's title at the Australian Open, his 17-year-old son Sebastian follows in his footsteps in the juniors draw
Updated: 26 minutes ago
Democrats, GOP exchange charges of blame for shutdown

Democrats, GOP exchange charges of blame for shutdown

Congressional Democrats and Republicans are waiting for each other to blink over the government shutdown
Updated: 1 hour ago
Democrats, GOP exchange charges of blame for shutdown

Democrats, GOP exchange charges of blame for shutdown

Congressional Democrats and Republicans are waiting for each other to blink over the government shutdown
Updated: 1 hour ago
'The Shape of Water' wins top Producers Guild Award

'The Shape of Water' wins top Producers Guild Award

Guillermo del Toro's fantastical romance "The Shape of Water" has won the top honor from the Producers Guild of America
Updated: 1 hour ago