Texas test scandal ex-school chief gets 42 months

Associated Press
In a Friday, Sept. 7, 2012 photo, activist Javier Diaz, left, 82, shows former Texas state senator Elliot Shapleigh signatures he collected to demand an overhaul of the El Paso Independent School District, in El Paso, Texas. A cheating scandal in which schools would get rid of underperforming students to artificially inflate their high stakes test scores has rocked the El Paso ISD, landed a former superintendent in jail and prompted the Texas Education Agency to put the district on probation.  (AP Photo/Juan Carlos Llorca)

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EL PASO, Texas (AP) — A federal judge has sentenced the former El Paso Independent School District superintendent to 42 months in prison for his participation in a scheme to bolster high-stakes testing scores by getting rid of students deemed likely to fail.

Lorenzo Garcia pleaded guilty in June to two counts of fraud and was sentenced Friday. He's accused of orchestrating a scheme that prevented low-performing students from taking the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills in the 10th grade. Some were held back in the ninth grade or pressured to drop out and take the GED elsewhere. Others were threatened with fines for living outside the district.

Six other people are implicated in the scheme and an FBI investigation continues.

The Texas education agency has placed the district on probation.

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