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Is the state’s testing system responsible for cheating?

the million dollar question tonight. where is james anderson? he is the sixth person listed in an indictment that landed five of his former co-workers a brief stay in jail. the former e-p-i-s-d adminstrators posted bond yesterday and were been released from the county jail.. anderson’s name is redacted from the documents the abc- seven i-team got yesterday… however, he is named by his position, which was the former assistant superintendent for secondary education. abc- seven checked with the county jail again today, and still, no james anderson arrested. he and the other five allegedly carried out a scheme devised by then- superintendent lorenzo garcia, who already served two years in prison. why? the f-b-i says to get higher scores on the state’s standardized testing. it allegedly started at bowie high school and quickly spread other schools, like austin high. and how did they allegedly do it? the feds say the administrators held back students… told them to drop out… or changed their transcripts … to avoid the standardized tests. they are all accused of cheating the same system many superintendents claim is “flawed. reporter darren hunt continues abc- seven’s … complete coverage of the e-p- i-s-d cheating scandal. darren? rick/estela, the argument in favor of testing is that we need a measurable way to ensure students are making progress make in school. but a lot of people think that’s creating pressure to cheat. “we shouldn’t forget what was a the root of this … i don’t think it was inherently that these people were evil people.” senator jose rodriguez said this week’s arrests in the episd cheating scandal can all be traced to a flawed state testing system. “with regard to the principal and lower level administrators, they were obviously feeling pressure from the superintendent … so you now see what i think are good people, ensnared in this process … i think what it teaches us is that human nature is frail and that people can succumb to these kinds of pressures.” “i really think what the whol scandal revealed to us is that the whole culture of the organization had been distorted by this simple sort of fixation on testing.” susie byrd is a trustee on the episd board. “it’s really so hard to dismantle that culture within the organization because for so long teachers, principals, administrators were judged based on those scores … if what we’re about is learning and teaching, this is the wrong system to get us there.” “i blame the test, totally, and i’ll tell you right now, it’s not going to get better.” arlinda valencia, president of the ysleta teachers association, expects more testing scandals and arrests in the future. “i have to blame the test because, if you take the test out of it, teachers would not need to cheat, administrators would not have to pressure teachers and superintendents would not have to pressure the administration … i’m not excusing any of what they did, it was wrong, and the majority of the teachers and administrators they play fair.” valencia said in the future the state will tie 20-percent of a teacher’s evaluation to standardized test scores … which she believes could lead not only more administrators to cheat, but teachers and students as well. rick/estela. abc-seven and tex- dot with live traffic coverage

KVIA ABC-7

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