Five More Houston ISD Teachers About to Be Canned for Alleged Test Cheating

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Five more Houston ISD teachers are on the brink of being booted out after an investigation indicates they manipulated test scores in the spring 2013 State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness statewide exams, it was announced late Wednesday by HISD.

The teachers are all at Jefferson Elementary and no specifics were given out other than the fact that 11 other teachers are also under investigation. On Thursday night, trustees will vote on whether to fire the five at the district's monthly board meeting.

A press release Wednesday included the usual obligatory statement from Superintendent Terry Grier about the gravity of the situation:

"We take these findings very seriously. It is imperative that we have access to reliable and unbiased test results, as testing helps the district measure the degree to which students are learning," said HISD Superintendent Terry Grier. "We will continue our investigation and the other teachers will remain reassigned until the investigation concludes."

"In November, a total of 16 teachers - including 11 who started the 2013-2014 school year at Jefferson - were reassigned to non-classroom duties during the investigation."

It should be noted that since Grier's arrival in 2009, he repeatedly has taken a hard line against employees involved in test tampering. In some cases, however, the district's decisions have not been confirmed by subsequent hearings and investigations -- notably in the case of former principal Mable Caleb, who was fired for alleged cheating and cleared four years later by an administrative law judge.

And three teachers who were recently fired after they were accused of cheating on the state exams at Atherton Elementary are continuing to fight the action against them in court.

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