State Senator Questions Fairness of HISD Cheating Probe - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

State Senator Questions Fairness of HISD Cheating Probe

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At Houston ISD's Jefferson Elementary all many teachers want for Christmas is their good name back.

20 instructors were yanked out of their classrooms from Jefferson and a second school in November while the district investigates what it suspects is cheating on a standardized test.

State Senator Sylvia Garcia has been following the case and questions both the transparency and fairness of the district's investigation thus far.

"I find it troubling that it looks like there's some conclusion out there already," said Garcia.

Garcia says she's also troubled by reports that 3rd grade students at Jefferson have been inappropriately questioned and coerced by lawyers working for the district.

Parents fear that because their kids are largely Hispanic and largely low income HISD administrators believe the students were incapable of achieving stellar scores on the STARR test. It's an attitude some have called "institutional racism".

"If I find that to be true I think HISD's going to have a lot of explaining to do. They just have not done a good job of communicating with the community and of communicating with the parents," said Garcia.

Senator Garcia is the third state lawmaker to weigh in on the Jefferson cheating probe. State Representative Harold Dutton contends HISD's could easily may have an underlying motive for the controversial investigation.

"Their first tactic is destabilize the school and then ultimately to close the school. So after they make all these allegations about cheating at the school and they don't find anything, what happens? Where does the school go to get it's reputation back?," said Dutton.

HISD declined comment other than to say the district has no plans to close Jefferson Elementary.







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