Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

Latest News

September 2, 2013

Auditor: State vulnerable to school cheating

Corsicana — EL PASO — The Texas Education Agency said it would create a new investigative division after a state audit released Friday highlighted serious flaws with how the agency monitors its more than 1,000 school districts.

The State Auditor's Office conducted an audit that confirmed TEA didn't perform a thorough investigation of cheating allegations in the El Paso Independent School District. The audit also said the state has a flawed system because education officials depend on school districts to police themselves.

An El Paso Times investigation revealed that district administrators were holding students back, promoting them or coercing them into leaving school to improve scores on standardized tests. That gave the appearance of improving academic performance, qualifying the district for more federal funds.

TEA Commissioner Michael Williams blamed his predecessor for failing to investigate allegations of cheating in the state's ninth-largest school district. He said Friday that the leader of a new investigative unit, which was one of the audit's recommendations, must have a strong background.

"The Texas Education Agency must work within its existing resources. However, I am committed to assuring this new office has the capability of carrying out its functions. That starts with hiring someone to lead this office who has some type of investigative or prosecutorial background," Williams, himself a former prosecutor, told The Associated Press in an email.

According to the audit, TEA neglected to investigate the cheating allegations, did not travel to El Paso to interview those who knew about the cheating scheme and instead limited itself to a desk review that relied on information submitted by the district.

The contents of the audit were first reported by El Paso Times on Friday.

TEA placed the El Paso school district on probation in August 2012 after the newspaper exposed the cheating scandal. Several officials resigned or were fired, and ex-Superintendent Lorenzo Garcia — who received at least $56,000 in bonuses as a result of the improved test scores — is serving 3 years in prison for fraud.

Text Only
Latest News
  • NavarroCollegeforWeb.jpg Kid's College signup begins May 1

    Plans are set for another week of summer learning and fun at Navarro College with the return of “Kid's College” for Summer 2014.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-24-14 DD Hot Dog Lunch 3.jpg Derrick Days: Hot Diggity Dogs

    The Derrick Days Hot Dog Kick-off Luncheon and Dinner went off without a hitch under gorgeous blue skies and accompanied by free concerts.

    April 23, 2014 4 Photos

  • 4-24-14 Cheerleader 1.jpg Navarro College national cheer champs take center stage

    The Navarro College Cheer Team signed autographs Wednesday afternoon, soaking up some sun and accolades on the Corsicana campus following the group's sixth straight national title.

    April 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • Police nab fraud suspect

    Corsicana Police say news coverage of a fraudulent solicitation for funds played a role in the arrest of a woman falsely claiming to be collecting money for the YMCA.

    April 23, 2014

  • 4-24-14 Healthy Woman.jpg Healthy Woman program celebrates six years of service

    Topics ranging from nutrition to healthy hearts to safe skin practices have been covered for the last six years by the Navarro Regional Hospital's Healthy Woman program.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local Beat for 4/24/14

    A listing of meetings and events of interest from throughout Navarro County.

    April 23, 2014

  • Texas quarantine expanded for citrus disease

    The vast majority of Texas' commercial citrus groves now reside in expanded quarantine areas aimed at slowing the spread of a disease decimating citrus around the world.

    April 23, 2014

  • 4-24-14 Peaches.jpg Peach crops largely unhurt by late freeze

    COLLEGE STATION – There were varied reports of damage to wheat, forages and fruit and nut crops from the hard freeze on April 15 from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service personnel throughout the Central, Rolling Plains, South Plains and Panhandle regions.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-23-14 DerrickDays.jpg Derrick Days: Downtown Chowdown

    Derrick Days is ready to go, with events escalating everyday until the big Saturday celebration, with dozens of activities that day alone.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-23-14 TownHall.jpg Navarro College Town Hall shares updates

    Reaching out to the community, inviting the civic groups to the campus, and doing a better job of sharing the story of Navarro College were some of the ideas brought up at a college Town Hall event held Monday.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
Twitter Updates