CANUTILLO, Texas — The Canutillo Independent School District board trustees are asking the U.S. Dept. of Education for accountability testing reforms in light of recent cheating scandals associated with the tests.
The Board approved sending the letter at Tuesday night's meeting, which calls for changes and considerations for districts in border communities.
In part, they blame language barriers from foreign born students as a reason some administrators resorted to "cheating".
The El Paso Independent School District, and more recently, Canutillo ISD, have been the targets of investigations related to a scheme that promotes students, hold them back, or kicks them out altogether in order to attain higher scores on state-mandated tests.
EPISD's former superintendent Lorenzo Garcia pleaded guilty on federal charges related to the scheme. CISD's superintendent Damon Murphy, who once worked under Garcia as the Assoc. Sup. of Priority Schools, was just implicated by an audit in a similar plot. The CISD Board removed him in December.
"It makes no sense for school districts along the U.S. border with Mexico to be forced
to test a student in English when the student has been in the U.S. for less than two years and often less than one year," wrote board President Armando Rodriguez.
Some of the suggestions include waivers or alternate testing for specific students, such as foreign transfers, along with more federal funding to provide programs to bring help for students with special needs.
"When challenges arise, it is often a good time to embrace new solutions and create new opportunities," wrote Rodriguez.
"We want to work with the Department of Education to address the issues facing our community. We request that your office schedule a community based workshop or other outreach effort that will allow communities like ours to be heard directly on this issue."
You can download the letter at the link below.
|Letter--US Dept of Ed--arne duncan--testing issues (2).pdf ||396.85 KB|