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Ex-superintendent to be sentenced for test scandal

By Juan Carlos Llorca

Associated Press

Published: Friday, Oct. 5 2012 1:15 a.m. MDT

In a Friday, Sept. 7, 2012 photo, activist Javier Diaz, left, 82, shows former Texas state senator Elliot Shapleigh signatures he collected to demand an overhaul of the El Paso Independent School District, in El Paso, Texas. A cheating scandal in which schools would get rid of underperforming students to artificially inflate their high stakes test scores has rocked the El Paso ISD, landed a former superintendent in jail and prompted the Texas Education Agency to put the district on probation.

Juan Carlos Llorca, Associated Press

EL PASO, Texas — A former El Paso School District superintendent is scheduled for sentencing at a federal court for his participation in a scheme to fraudulently improve high-stakes testing scores by getting rid of students who would likely fail those tests.

Lorenzo Garcia pleaded guilty in June to two counts of fraud and faces up to 3½ years in prison at sentencing Friday. Garcia admitted to devising a scheme to keep low performing students from taking the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills test. Some of the students would be held back in the ninth grade while others would be told to drop out so they would not be among the 10th graders tested. Six other co-conspirators helped Garcia. The investigation continues.

The Texas education agency has placed the district on probation.

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