EPISD Leaders Defend Practices Amidst Allegations


POSTED: Thursday, June 24, 2010 - 4:10pm

UPDATED: Saturday, June 26, 2010 - 8:35am

District leaders, students, and parents gathered at Coronado High School to respond to the allegations that Senator Eliot Shapleigh has made of the El Paso Independent School District.

Senator Shapleigh has accused the district of telling some students to stay home on standardized test days to boost the district's scores. But on Thursday, supporters of the district said this is not true.

Mary lee Jurecky is the mother of two students in the El Paso Independent School District.

"We're here to celebrate our students success and to ask Senator Shapleigh to stop diminishing their success by saying they achieved it unfairly," Jurecky said. She said the allegations puts down students' accomplishments.

"I think that it's odd that Senator Shapleigh would question some of these test results when they've already been audited by the Texas Education Agency," Jurecky said.

"Senator, you're hurting our kids, you're hurting our education, you're hurting our community," Superintendent Dr. Lorenzo Garcia said on the stage of Coronado High School. "There's a state law that says 95 percent of the kids have to take the test, and we're there."

But Senator Shapleigh has called for a federal investigation of the district's practices. Principals of the accused high schools also stepped up Thursday to defend their ethics.

"These students work and they work hard," Dr. John Tanner, principal of Austin high School, said. "These faculty and staff they work and they work hard."

"This has not been accomplished by the cheating and corruption that have been alleged by Senator Shapleigh," said Marielo Morales, principal of Coronado High School.

Jurecky said she hasn't shared the back and forth between the district and the senator with her children because she does not want them to feel discouraged.

"I'm not sure why he would make these allegations because it really hurts the students more than anyone else," Jurecky said.

Dr. Garcia's contract was just unanimously extended by the board of trustees to three years. The senator will be holding his own press conference on Friday to tell his side of the story.

Comments News Comments

okay, so the students work hard. that's a pointless red herring. Senator Shapleigh wouldn't have made these accusations without proof to back them up. how about defending directly against the accusations with solid facts and not carelessly throwing out emotional appeals? maybe because the facts won't support Sup. Garcia. truth will out, hopefully.

enough with how much people earn...

enough with the press conferences.....

lets get this investigation going and see who is lying here.

im tired of shapleigh and garcia acting like little whiny children

I haven't heard that the students accomplishments are being questioned. Senator Shapleigh is questionning that there were some students who did not take the TAKS test to thus skew the overall results of the whole district. I believe that the superintendent would do this. I think that due to all the controversy that Dr. Garcia should resign. He is why the vote failed. No one has confidence in him. Please do not try to blame this on the students because that is not what the Senator is doing.

I have read the letter the senator wrote to Dr. Gracia and I have alot of questions. 1)The obvious decrease of students from one school year to the following year at Bowie. 2)Why does Dr. Garcia and other EPISD employees get paid more than city officials and above state average.(i.e. Dr. Garcia salary last year was $280,000 and that does not include $18,000 in car allowance and $6,000 from cell phone and other employees salary range from $200,000 to $80,000)

One issue that is NEVER DISCUSSED is how high state standardized score do NOT relate to high SAT scores, and that is a very well known FACT.
The K-12 product is not condusive to being ready for college work, especially Math, Physics, Chemistry and overall sciences.
The TAKS SCORES are a false illusion of education, with the exception of the AP program in the High Schools.
(Advanced Placement)

The students accomplishments are NOT being questioned, what is in question is that there were some students who did not take the TAKS test to thus skew the overall results of the whole district.

Anyone know where Shapleigh's press conference will be? Really like to attend.

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