El Paso official pleads guilty in alleged cheating scheme

El Paso official pleads guilty in alleged cheating scheme

EL PASO, Texas (AP) - Authorities say a former West Texas school official has pleaded guilty for his role in an alleged scheme to rig his school district's high-stakes test scores.

Federal prosecutors announced that during a court hearing Friday, former El Paso School District Associate Superintendent Damon Murphy pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States.

Investigators say Murphy and other officials sought to falsely boost the school district's accountability scores by a variety of means, including preventing "limited English proficiency" students from taking the state standardized high school test.

Murphy faces up to five years in prison. No sentencing date has been scheduled.

Five others also indicted are set to go to trial Feb. 13.

Former superintendent Lorenzo Garcia has already been sentenced to 3½ years in prison.

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