"Ladies and gentleman, that is a stunning and deeply troubling directive from a former top official of this school district," Jordan said in a statement in April, while she was interim superintendent of EPISD. "The email directive from Murphy is especially troubling when considered in light of the district's own internal audit and the ongoing federal investigation into whether students were improperly retained in ninth grade or promoted to the 11th grade to avoid being tested in 10th grade and counted as part of the school's rating Adequate Yearly Progress under the federal No Child Left Behind education law."
EPISD's former superintendent, Lorenzo Garcia, this year, pleaded guilty to steering an expensive, no-bid district contract to his then mistress. He also pleaded guilty to manipulating the district's test scores by not allowing who he perceived as low performing students to enroll or forcing them to skip or be held back a grade. Garcia would get bonuses when the district met state and federal standards that included passing the tests.
Murphy, who has worked in the education field more than 20 years, worked at EPISD for four years as Associate Superintendent for Secondary and Priority Schools during Garcia's tenure at EPISD.
According to Rodriguez, the board has drafted a policy to discuss at later meetings. The policy will work to ensure similar issues do not occur again in the future, and will especially focus on fulfilling the needs of out-of-country students and limited English proficiency students.