El Paso Cheating Scandal

October 15, 2012

(Guest post by Greg Forster)

One guy who isn’t going to be nominated for this year’s Al Copeland award is Lorenzo Garcia, disgraced ex-superintendent of El Paso schools. He’s at the center of the latest major cheating scandal connected to NCLB. From the New York Times:

Students identified as low-performing were transferred to charter schools, discouraged from enrolling in school or were visited at home by truant officers and told not to go to school on the test day. For some, credits were deleted from transcripts or grades were changed from passing to failing or from failing to passing so they could be reclassified as freshmen or juniors…

In 2008, Linda Hernandez-Romero’s daughter repeated her freshman year at Bowie High School after administrators told her she was not allowed to return as a sophomore. Ms. Hernandez-Romero said administrators told her that her daughter was not doing well academically and was not likely to perform well on the test.

Ms. Hernandez-Romero protested the decision, but she said her daughter never followed through with her education, never received a diploma or a G.E.D. and now, at age 21, has three children, is jobless and survives on welfare.

“Her decisions have been very negative after this,” her mother said. “She always tells me: ‘Mom, I got kicked out of school because I wasn’t smart. I guess I’m not, Mom, look at me.’ There’s not a way of expressing how bad it feels, because it’s so bad. Seeing one of your children fail and knowing that it was not all her doing is worse.” [ea]

Accountability systems don’t work when those being held accountable percieve the system as political and illegitimate. Schools need these systems but they’re not going to work as long as education is a government monopoly. More on that here and here.

Via Bill Evers