Skip to Content

State Sen. Shapleigh Accuses Austin High Of TAKS Cheating; Principal Denies Accusation

State Senator Eliot Shapleigh said cheating on state TAKS tests has spread to Austin High School.

Citing data from the Texas Education Agency, Shapleigh said in the 2007-2008 school year, 639 freshmen started class.

The next year, only 348 of them the were enrolled as sophomores in the fall, and 287 by spring.

“What we’re seeing is a systematic removal of these students at the high school level, so that when they’re tested, someone can go brag: I got these TAKS scores, and get a bonus out of it.

But Austin principal Dr. John Tanner said those students either dropped out of school, transferred, or were held back because they couldn’t meet academic requirements, such as algebra.

He said that’s a trend reflected statewide.

“On TAKS day, they were taking one TAKS or another. Most likely if they don’t make it to the sophomore level, they’re going to be taking the freshman TAKS again,” he said.

Without getting into any specifics, Shapleigh said cheating is also taking place at El Paso High School, Coronado High School, and other schools.

Thursday, EPISD superintendent Dr. Lorenzo Garcia said Shapleigh’s cause is personal.

“The senator wants to continue this vendetta against me,” Garcia said.

But Shapleigh said it isn’t personal.

“This has nothing to do with personalities and everything to do with kids,” he said.

Late Friday afternoon, EPISD released a statement, reading in part:

“There (Shapleigh) goes again with his accusations and misinformation…In 2009, the senator questioned the whereabouts of students at other high schools with numerous open records requests. The district was able to account for all of the students, and we’d be happy to provide the same research on Austin High School.”

Shapleigh has asked the U.S. Department of Education to investigate.

Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo



KVIA ABC 7 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content