By Marc Campos

Abe And The Cheaters

By Marc Campos

Houston Independent School District (HISD) chief Abe Saavedra will announce a program to clamp down on cheating on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS). This comes after news reports on unusual scores at four local elementary schools. The four schools involved have predominantly minority student populations. Rather than sweeping the problem under the rug, Abe is tackling the issue head on.

The cheating is obviously organized. It is certainly not something elementary school kids thought up. It probably involves teachers and maybe principals. Why? Because these scumbags use inflated test scores on their resumes so they can get future pay raises. This is absolutely disgusting.

If HISD is going to tout itself as an improved school district, then it has to deal with cheating on the TAKS. Let's hope the cheaters are nailed and heads roll. Go get them Abe.

The freeway tow issue continues to get major news coverage. State Senator John Whitmire is the only legislator that has come out in opposition. He is calling for a moratorium. Mayor Bill White says no way to that, however, the Mayor will consider waiving the $75 tow fee for those that cannot afford to pay. In today's Chron, two letters against and one editorial cartoon poking fun.

On a baseball note, the Houston Astros have until Saturday evening to sign free agent Carlos Beltran. Astros owner Drayton McLane has put all of his eggs in the Beltran basket. They did not re-sign all-star second baseman Jeff Kent and former opening day pitcher Wade Miller. Roger Clemens is still in a holding pattern, probably waiting to see if Beltran becomes an Astro before he commits for another year. If the Astros fail to sign Beltran, our lineup will probably be Brad Ausmus catching, Jeff Bagwell at first, Chris Burke at second, Adam Everett at short, Morgan Ensberg at third, Craig Biggio in left, Jason Lane in center, and Lance Berkman - once his knee mends - in right. We will only have three proven starting pitchers - Roy Oswalt, Andy Pettitte, and Brandon Backe. Without Beltran, it looks like it will be a long season.

January 6, 2005, 9:00AM

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