Feds to investigate two El Paso County school districts

Feds to investigate two El Paso County school districts
Wednesday, May 8, 2013 - 8:43pm

The Texas Education Agency is now requesting a federal investigation into allegations of cheating in the Canutillo and San Elizario school districts.

The TEA sent a letter monday to the U.S. Department of Education and the Office of the Inspector General. The TEA also conducted its own audit of those school districts and found that cheating occurred. The TEA audit says students were promoted to higher grade levels or held back so that they could avoid taking standardized tests. Because grades were allegedly manipulated to boost federal school accountability standards, the TEA says it wants the feds involved.

"We're only aware of it in the El Paso area. We've seen very little of it elsewhere and we're hoping its an isolated problem," said

The Canutillo Independent School District believes that's not the case. They released this statement today, which reads quote: "The district believes these issues are not isolated events and the board hopes both TEA and the U.S. Department of Education will review these issues on a state wide basis... The current system of testing and accountability measures is simply not working. Proof of this is the fact that TEA cleared EPISD not once, but twice, using TEA audit processes.

The state is doing away with the 10th grade Taks test, replacing it with a new standardized test that will be taken by kids at every grade level. The TEA hopes that will help prevent the cheating that occurred in El Paso County from happening again, since many students in the county were moved out of the 10th grade so they wouldn't have to take the exam.

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