DEMOTED-TO THE CLASSROOM

TWO FORMER SUNSET HIGH School administrators are back in the classroom after Dallas Public Schools officials found them responsible for a major grade-fixing scandal that broke last February. Principal Michael Stiles and Dean of Instruction Zulema Ortiz gave As land near-perfect attendance) to at least 400 students enrolled in the Peer Assistance and Leadership course-a teacherless class that students were not required to attend. Many didn’t, choosing instead to go home, grab a snack, or just wander the neighborhood.

Currently, Ortiz teaches third grade at Stonewall Jackson Elementary, and Stiles teaches a special education class for expelled elementary students. Many DISD teachers were furious that the two were ” demoted ” to teaching after disgracing the school district. By doling out easy As to undeserving students, die educators effectively rendered class rankings illegitimate and jeopardized some state funding. The lenient punishment led to speculation that Stiles, who declined to comment on his new post, was merely a fall guy for higher-ups in the district.

Rose Parker, the teacher who blew the whistle on the no-brain-er PAL course, has resigned and filed a lawsuit against the DISD, claiming that her career has been ruined because the district blackballs whistle-blowers. Ironically, Stiles and Ortiz still haunt the high school where, not surprisingly, they were always popular with the students. This past season, the two remained Friday-night regulars at Bison football games.

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