New Report: District "Dissolving From the Inside Out"

New Report: District
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POSTED: Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 6:22pm

UPDATED: Friday, November 9, 2012 - 10:37pm

Lots of blame is being thrown around for havoc in the El Paso Independent School District, according to the TEA Monitor's September report released Thursday.

Throughout September, monitor Judy Castleberry observed board meetings and noted the lack of confidence in the board and administrative staff as an ongoing concern.

She's also recommending the district resume planning to establish in-house legal counsel.

Castleberry also interviewed several top administrators in the district, and from what it seems, there's lots of finger-pointing going around.

The Assoc. Supt. of Human Resources, Robert Almanzan, told Castleberry the district seems to be "dissolving from the inside out," citing the lack of confidence among staff because upper level administrators are taking advantage of a void in leadership.

That void was left when Former Supt. Lorenzo Garcia was arrested last year on charges he forced kids out of school to keep them from taking the TAKS test, so he could earn bonuses.

It was a scandal that not only affected Bowie High School, but reached all high schools in the district.

It's the district's investigation of the original allegations at Bowie, that had Castleberry questioning the current Internal Auditor, Jose Yanez, in her report.

Castleberry asked Yanez why only Bowie High was audited in the initial investigation of the cheating scandal.

Yanez told Castleberry that "...data from El Paso High School was examined and found to be clean, the department was short-handed, and had recently taken on some additional responsibilities."

When asked what was broken now in the district, Yanez said "The culture needs to change."

He pointed fingers at the Human Resources Dept., saying they're reluctant to fire employees. Instead, he said, they just move problematic employees around the district...

Castleberry also cited Yanez as saying "...some administrators do not take anonymous reports seriously."

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