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Benchmark Breakdown

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Tensions are high in a San Antonio school district as allegations surfaced that New Braunfels Middle School principal John Burks threatened to kill the school’s science teachers if they did not improve their science scores on the TAKS test, a Texas standardized exam, and other benchmarks. According to Anita White, one of the four teachers present for the outburst, in an interview with a KSAT12 News, "He stated if the scores were not to his liking, he would kill us all and then kill himself. He was very emphatic, he was not laughing, he was not being funny.” She said he threatened her again on the day she was reassigned to another local school, calling her into his office to tell her, “I told you I was ruthless.”

The reaction from the community was surprise. Ellen Duncan, a parent of a New Braunfels student, had positive words for the school leader, "John Burks is a wonderful principal and I have been really, really proud of him. I just can't even imagine that would be anything that would come from him."

School officials have refused to comment except to deny the allegations on Burk’s behalf, though the police are reportedly investigating the incident. White says she is considering filing a civil lawsuit with the district.

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Not wanting to say I told you so, I can't help but to go back when this whole accountability mess started that we would lose focus on our students. Here we have a situation where a good adminstrator is being accused of tactics that go further than the mind can even fanthom.

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