Posted: Mar 16, 2013 10:41 PM
EL PASO, Texas (AP) - A third El Paso-area school district has acknowledged wrongdoing in a scandal over cheating to meet federal accountability measures, the El Paso Times reported Saturday.
An internal investigation and an outside audit of the San Elizario Independent School District revealed that several students' credits were manipulated and students were reclassified inappropriately into different grade levels.
District Superintendent Sylvia Hopp told the newspaper that the district has taken steps to correct the wrongdoing by past administrators so the students can have their appropriate number of earned credits.
San Elizario trustees ordered a preliminary audit in December because of recent allegations at other area districts and concerns raised by staff members.
Pam Padilla, a former superintendent of the Canutillo Independent School District, conducted the district's audit and turned her findings over to the Texas Education Agency.
The district said the TEA had received a complaint about the possible cheating.
According to a statement from the district, the audit reviewed enrollment and grade practices at San Elizario High School during the 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11 school years.
Hopp said about 31 students classified as limited-English proficient were either held back or promoted as a result of these actions. The students are known and most are in school and a few plan to graduate this spring, she said.
A recent Texas Education Agency audit revealed that a former high school principal in the Canutillo district manipulated student data, and former El Paso school superintendent Lorenzo Garcia is in federal prison for devising a similar scheme.
In December, Texas education officials appointed a board of managers to take over the duties of the embattled El Paso Independent School District's board of trustees in the wake of a cheating scandal that put the district on probation.
Installing a board of managers is the harshest sanction a school district can face before it is closed and annexed to another district.
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