Less than a month after the Texas Education Agency appointed a monitor to oversee the El Paso’s public schools in the wake of a cheating scandal, district officials plan to replace the interim superintendent, the El Paso Times reported today.
Board members of the El Paso Independent School District would not explain why they sought to replace the current interim superintendent, Terri Jordan.
"It would not be appropriate for me to comment on this closed session agenda item before it is discussed fully by board members at tomorrow's meeting," board President Isela Castañon-Williams told the Times in a statement Monday.
The board was set to discuss Jordan’s replacement this afternoon.
Jordan served as the chief of staff to former El Paso public schools chief Lorenzo García prior to his arrest last year on public corruption charges.
García pleaded guilty in June to fraud and admitted directing a contract to a mistress and playing a role in the cheating scandal. García received tens of thousands of dollars in bonuses tied to student achievement - a measure that had been rigged by him and other district leaders.
The search for a new interim superintendent is taking place locally and statewide, said James "Jimmy" Vasquez, the executive director of Region 19 Education Service Center and the head of a task force created to help EPISD recover from the scandal.
"I have been calling the former superintendents of large school districts. We don't have anybody yet," Vasquez said of the candidate search.
Vasquez said the district is looking for a "temporary interim superintendent" to be followed by an interim superintendent and finally a full-time superintendent.
Trustees voted in June to extend Jordan's contract as interim superintendent for a year at her current annual salary of $180,000. Jordan’s contract permits her to return to the chief of staff position.
Contact Mike Cronin at email@example.com or 713-228-2850. Follow him on Twitter at @michaelccronin or @texaswatchdog.
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Photo by flickr user flakeparadigm, used via a Creative Commons license.