Education A National Roundup

Houston Inspector Finds Cheating on State Tests

By Kathleen Kennedy Manzo — May 17, 2005 1 min read

A four-month investigation by the inspector general for the Houston Independent School District has found evidence of cheating on state tests in three elementary schools and testing “irregularities” at seven others.

Officials of the 212,000-student district announced May 4 that 12 other schools were cleared of any wrongdoing.

Superintendent Abelardo Saavedra said he would move to fire four teachers who worked at the schools where the cheating occurred: Key Middle School and Bowie and Peterson elementary schools.

The superintendent set up a new office in January to investigate suspected cheating after an analysis of test scores by The Dallas Morning News found evidence of cheating and other irregularities in hundreds of schools throughout Texas and at least three dozen schools in Houston.

In the months since, a team of investigators has conducted interviews with students and teachers and inspected test booklets and results. In February, disciplinary measures were initiated against teachers at Sanderson Elementary School after investigators concluded that cheating also occurred there.