Education A National Roundup

Houston District to Fire Teachers As Cheating Probe Continues

By Kathleen Kennedy Manzo — March 01, 2005 1 min read

Two elementary teachers in Houston will be fired after an investigation that concluded they helped students cheat on the state mathematics test, Superintendent Abelardo Saavedra has announced.

The principal of Sanderson Elementary School, where the teachers work, will be demoted and reassigned to another school, the superintendent said last month.

A statewide analysis of test scores by the Dallas Morning News,published in December, found suspect results at some 400 Texas schools, including more than two dozen in Houston.

In response, Mr. Saavedra appointed an inspector general to investigate cheating in the 212,000-student district. The state also launched an investigation. (“Texas Takes Aim at Tainted Testing Program,” Jan. 19, 2005.)

Students in 5th grade at Sanderson Elementary said their teachers helped them on the test, according to a statement released by the district. The teachers have refused to answer questions about their roles in the April 2004 test, but denied wrongdoing through their lawyer, according to the statement.

There is no evidence the principal was aware of the alleged cheating, according to the inspector general’s report. The investigations at nearly two dozen other Houston schools are continuing.

A version of this article appeared in the March 02, 2005 edition of Education Week