CISD responds to former Superintendent surrendering TEA certificate

CISD responds to former Superintendent surrendering TEA certificate
The School Yard
Wednesday, June 4, 2014 - 9:43am

The former Canutillo ISD Superintendent, Dr. Damon Murphy surrendered his TEA teaching certificate following a lengthy investigation into his involvement with the EPISD cheating scandal, before Murphy ever became Canutillo's Superintendent.

A spokesperson with CISD released the following statement Wednesday morning regarding the incident:

“Canutillo ISD continues to work on its goal of providing premier learning opportunities to all of its students, including those attending Canutillo High School. The self-identified issues that impacted CHS were promptly and properly reported to the Texas Education Agency, which worked with CISD to develop a Corrective Action Plan that addressed all issues identified by internal and state auditors in regard to accountability irregularities. The Corrective Action Plan was implemented this school year to full satisfaction of TEA officials. The state has validated the work done at CHS under new leadership, and issued no sanctions to CISD in regard to this matter.

The District wishes to continue the forward momentum it currently is experiencing, and is doing so with a commitment to transparency and above-board behavior from its educational team.”

Dr. Murphy reached a settlement with the Canutillo ISD in February 2013, and stepped away from his position as Superintendent. Murphy reached the agreement with CISD in December, 2012 after reaching an agreement with the board of trustees, in which he decided to resign in February in exchange for being placed on paid administrative leave until then.

At the time, CISD identified a similar pattern at Canutillo HS where 66 students with limited english skills were promoted from the 10th grade to 11th grade halfway through their 10th grade year. Auditors also discovered e-mails between Murphy and former CHS Principal James Fry discussing ways the school could bump 10th graders up mid-year in order to avoid taking mandatory state tests.

Murphy served as associate superintendent of the Priority Schools Division in EPISD before coming to Canutillo ISD. Lorenzo Garcia had created the position for Murphy to improve student performance on standardized testing. Garcia is currently serving a federal prison sentence for his role in the cheating scandal.

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