Texas test scandal ex-school chief gets 3.5 years

5:58 PM, Oct 5, 2012   |    comments
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By JUAN CARLOS LLORCA / Associated Press

EL PASO, Texas (AP) -- A federal judge has sentenced the former El Paso Independent School District superintendent to three and half years in prison for his participation in a scheme to bolster high-stakes testing scores by getting rid of students deemed likely to fail.

Lorenzo Garcia pleaded guilty in June to two counts of fraud and was sentenced Friday. He's accused of orchestrating a scheme that prevented low-performing students from taking the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills in the 10th grade. Some were held back in the ninth grade or pressured to drop out and take the GED elsewhere. Others were threatened with fines for living outside the district.

Six other people are implicated in the scheme and an FBI investigation continues.

The Texas education agency has placed the district on probation.

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