Teachers union discusses cheating allegations at Jefferson, Atherton Elementary with parents

Things got a little heated at a meeting surrounding reassigned teachers over what school officials call 'testing irregularities'
November 26, 2013 8:22:15 PM PST
Things got a little heated at a town hall meeting surrounding reassigned teachers over what school officials call "testing irregularities."

The meeting was hosted by the Houston Federation of Teachers, and parents who attended it say they want their voices heard.

The parents in the Jefferson community at Tuesday night's meeting had many concerns. One is that their children's learning environment was interrupted when teachers were reassigned from their jobs.

"What has not been mentioned is that these teachers spent four days a week staying after school and half of Saturday to make sure these students succeeded," parent Robert Gonzales said.

The meeting comes after HISD said independent investigators uncovered information about possibly student testing regularities last year at Jefferson Elementary and Atherton Elementary.

Two dozens teachers have since been reassigned, including Brian Bishop's wife.

"They don't find out until that day when they're going to do the testing. They don't know who is testing whose students, but they never test their own students. I don't understand how they can possibly cheat," Bishop said.

State Rep. Jessica Farrar says she'll be taking the comments to HISD's superintendent.

"They feel like the investigation is more of a witch hunt instead of something that is a mutual process," Farrar said.

District officials have said they will have no additional comments while the investigation is ongoing.

Late Tuesday, State Sen. Sylvia Garcia issued the following statement:

"Parents have some serious concerns about the well being of their children at Jefferson Elementary and the responsiveness of the administration. We are working with Representative Farrar's office to ensure that all of their concerns are being fairly investigated and that appropriate action is being taken by the school and HISD. We thank these parents for holding the school and school district accountable by making their voices heard."

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