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Damon Murphy Subject of Allegations
Thursday, December 6, 2012 - 11:59pm
CANUTILLO, TX — CANUTILLO, TX — Allegations of another cheating scandal are surfacing in another school district -- this time in Canutillo.
The CISD board of trustees is discussing whether or not they'll be renewing Superintendent Damon Murphy's contract, this, after some startling new details from their internal auditor.
Auditors found that during the 2010-2011 school year, a group of more than 60 sophomores who were in the limited english proficiency group were bumped up to the 11th grade halfway through their sophomore year.
That means these students went on to the next grade without finishing the 10th grade first.
By skipping the last half of 10th grade, the students would not have had to take the mandatory TAKS test, thus improving the district's test scores.
The internal auditors say Superintendent Murphy ordered Canutillo High's principal to move these students up.
One parent said he wants Murphy to be treated fairly.
"Doctor Murphy and I don't always see eye to eye, we don't always agree but I think he should be treated fairly. And if he has done something that is not proper, he should suffer the consequences," said John Joyner.
Whether Murphy played a role in the EPISD scandal or not, the renewal of his contract with Canutillo ISD only depends on his performance at Canutillo ISD, and not what may have happened at another district.
As you may recall, former El Paso Independent School District Superintendent Lorenzo Garcia conducted a similar operation to inflate state test scores so the district could get more bonuses from the federal government.
Murphy served as EPISD's associate superintendent of priority schools under Garcia.
Garcia had created that position for Murphy so he could examine why students weren't doing well on the TAKS test.
Back in April, former interim superintendent Terri Jordan announced in a news conference of Murphy's possible involvement in the cheating scandal.
"Murphy wrote quote a student coming on from out of country should be placed in 9th grade regardless of out of country transcript notations," she said.
"I have no comment on that," Murphy told reporters then. "I wish EPISD all the best. I haven't been there in two and a half years. I'm in Canutillo now and we are moving forward."
Murphy has not been formally charged or indicted in the EPISD allegations.