Seguin ISD principal resigns, asst. principal reassigned after testing irregularity investigation

Investigation found that students were told to change answers in benchmark exams

By Dillon Collier - Investigative Reporter

25. Corbett, Ore.: Corbett School

SEGUIN, Texas - An investigation into possible testing irregularities at a Seguin Independent School District campus found that teachers were pressured to have students change their answers during certain benchmark examinations.

The school's principal, Brandi Bell-Wiatrek, resigned effective June 20, a district spokesman confirmed on Friday.

The school's assistant principal, Veronica Ramirez, still works for the district, but now oversees a state grant focusing on truancy intervention, the spokesman confirmed. 

The 39-page report was written in April by an Austin-based attorney who was asked by district officials to independently investigate multiple testing complaints at Weinert Elementary School.

Independent investigation at Weinert Elementary School

Seguin ISD officials released the report Friday following a ruling from the state attorney general's office.

Complaints filed earlier this year accused Bell-Wiatrek and Ramirez of creating "an environment of manipulation and dishonesty on campus testing data."

The investigation, which included interviews with district administrators, teachers and students, determined that teachers received a tremendous amount of pressure from the principal to reach certain score levels.

Bell-Wiatrek said that the practice of having students redo questions was allowed, according to the report.

"Sadly, (redacted) comments characterizing Weinert Elementary as being broken and that it is a direct reflection of the campus administration and its leadership is accurate," the attorney concluded in the report.

The report also states that Seguin ISD officials is reporting concerns about how the 2017 STAAR test was conducted at the school.

Seguin ISD superintendent  Dr. Matthew Gutierrez released the following statement to KSAT:

“These documents made available through the Texas Public Information Act provide insight on the District’s reasons for overhauling the administrative team at Weinert Elementary School. I look forward to our new principal, Mary Hernandez, instilling a renewed culture of equality and integrity along with an atmosphere where all students will learn.”

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