Audit report claims EPISD manipulated accountability data, grad rates

USDE
Friday, June 14, 2013 - 6:17pm

After two and half years the U.S. Department of Education has released their final audit of EPISD.
The feds have now confirmed cheating did happen in EPISD. The audit details former Superintendent Lorenzo Garcia's scheme That began in 2006. He admitted to telling his employees to make sure transfer students from Mexico were placed in 9th grade, and to avoid classifying certain students as sophomores in order to keep them from taking the TAKS test.
     To do that, he would require changing some student's passing grades to failing grades, and implement course credit recovery programs to help those students held-back intentionally catch up before graduation.

Vernon Butler, EPISD's Interim Superintendent says this is all in the past. He's now looking forward.

"I am committed to working with the board of managers as they search for a permanent superintendent to continue our progress and make noticeable, positive change. It's a new day in EPISD," said Butler.

Leaders at the Texas Education Agency say, they'll make sure that change happens.

"Acknowledge that there is work still to do and that we will implement the recommendations that are outlined in that final report," said TEA spokesperson DeEtta Culbertson.

Some of those recommendations include developing policies and guidance, internal controls and ensure that all currently enrolled students in Texas are tested according to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

"It's important to note that the work to address these issues and to assure that they will never happen again, are already taking place at the local and state level," said Culbertson.

Canutillo ISD's former superintendent is named in the audit and the district responded saying:

"Canutillo ISD acted in a timely fashion to investigate testing practices at its own campuses, and the board of trustees acted swiftly and lawfully to address any deficiency that was identified by both the CISD internal audit office and the Texas Education Agency,” said Gustavo Reveles with CISD.
 

For the full audit, download the attached file or click here: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oig/auditreports/fy2013/a06l0001.p...

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