Saturday, October 6, 2012

Low Test Scores in Your School? El Paso Just Got Rid of Bad Students

There's a lot of pressure on schools these days to improve test scores and ensure students are learning well.

We'll leave for another day the question of whether or not all these tests are accomplishing the goal of ensuring kids are smarter.

I know that most school administrators everywhere genuinely want students to do well. But an El Paso school administrator found an, um, novel idea to boost test scores, thereby winning more federal education money and nice pats on his back.
Lorenzo Garcia was jailed for essentially
getting rid of poor performing students
to boost school test scores

Apparently, former superintendent Lorenzo Garcia just got rid of kids who might drag down average test scores by encouraging them, strongly, to drop out of school.

Well, that's one way to improve average scores. The kids that need the most help learning, the ones who are learning English, who have a learning disability, who have an abysmal home life. Just chuck them to the curb and deny them any kind of education.

Hey, money talks right?  Maybe he justified it all by thinking the kids wouldn't amount to much no matter what he did. Although I fear he might have thrown out some kids who would have made a big difference in the world had they gotten some help from educators.

Luckily, a lot of people aren't thrilled by Garcia's solution to school funding shortages.  Garcia has been convicted of fraud and was sentenced Friday, according to the El Paso Times.  He has to serve 3.5 years in prison, pay $180,000 in restitution and $56,000 in fines.    Some people around El Paso wished he wa sentenced to much more than that.  some people are calling for a harsher sentence than that.

By the way, major kudos to the El Paso Times because had their reporters not started nosing around and filing Freedom of Information demands, this might have continued to go on, unnoticed. As it was, Garcia was reportedly screwing over students from February, 2006 until about August, 2011.

This guy Garcia must now be the most unpopular guy in El Paso. But I wonder how many other school administrators are doing similar nasty stuff to gain federal education money, and are not being caught.

Yes, most school administrators have the kids' best interest at heart, but every group has a few bad apples. And even one bad apple can really shortchange a kid, and society as a whole, the benefits of that education.


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