HOUSTON — Under fire for underreporting student dropout rates, the Houston school district announced it is docking the pay of a former principal and a computer technician at one high school found to be among the worst offenders.
Sharpstown High School had been among a handful of schools saying they had no dropouts, claims that were questioned in a complaint filed with the Texas Education Agency by a state legislator from Houston.
A series of internal audits and external investigations that followed found that nearly all of the schools examined in Houston, with the nation's seventh-largest school district and where U.S. Education Secretary Rod Paige had been superintendent, were vastly underreporting dropouts.
"The Sharpstown investigation found that while no specific directive contributed to reporting of low dropouts, a climate existed at the school that tolerated the reporting of unrealistic dropout rates," Houston Independent School District Supt. Kaye Stripling said in a statement disclosing findings of an investigation by a Houston law firm.