A KO for Cuadra
It took a while (one assumes the Cuadras were too busy celebrating), but it's been updated, and the changes are grand. Once loaded, the page plays the Rocky theme, and a flash banner that says "Case Dismissed!!!" and "Praise God!!!" and praises Cuadra's victory against HISD, which, by the way, apparently stands for Humiliation, Injustice, Slander and Defamation of Character. (Wow, how come Terry Abbott never notified us of the change?)
In case you missed the "Texas miracle" drama, Cuadra was one of six HISD employees who were reprimanded for underreporting at least 3,000 dropouts. However, Cuadra was the sole employee criminally charged; he was accused of personally removing the names of 30 students from Sharpstown High School's dropout report. If convicted, Cuadra was looking at up to 20 years in prison and a fine.
All along, Cuadra maintained that he was innocent, and rather than plead no contest (which he said would've set a "bad example" to his kids), he fought HISD and the Harris County's DA's office, using funds raised through the Kenneth Cuadra Legal Defense Fund. Supporter Susan Ohanian has likened HISD's apparent scapegoating of Cuadra to the U.S. military's Abu Ghraib debacle, in which high-ranking officials escaped unscathed while soldiers took the bullets.
Former HISD principal and "Texas miracle" whistleblower Dr. Robert Kimball, a frequent Press source, wasn't afraid to speak out for Cuadra, pointing out that HISD didn't investigate other high schools, and that when he travels nationally, people still question HISD's dropout rates.
There's a good Fox 26 interview with Kimball here.
So Cuadra's name is cleared, while HISD's is further smudged. That Rocky music in Cuadra's page has us thinking: This would make a great movie. We'd cast Andy Garcia as Cuadra, John Lithgow as Terry Abbott, and, well, give Mr. T any role he wanted. — Steven Devadanam
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.