Is there a Doctor in the Schools?

Lawrence Public Schools has announced Former Malden Public Schools Superintendent, Ligia Noriega-Murphy as a finalist in their own Superintendent Search.

OpenCommonwealth calls on the stakeholders in Lawrence to ask the long-standing question: Is Ligia Noriega-Murphy a Doctor or not?

Many in Malden remember this past term of their Superintendent as a tumultious term. Dr. Noriega-Murphy as she was both self-described and emphatically declared by the Mayor and the School Committee members came to Malden with a similar non-doctoral transcript, however once she arrived, it was reported by multiple sources that she required people refer to her as “Doctor” Noriega-Murphy.

The Boston Globe did several articles on this subject and was unable to verify her credentials, including a reported conversation with the University of Salamanca in Spain where she claims to have received her doctorate; ” The head of the University of Salamanca’s education doctoral program said there isn’t a line of study in the program for focusing on urban education leadership. It also would be “impossible” for someone to complete the necessary coursework over the summers, said José María Hernández Díaz, the coordinator of the education doctoral program at University of Salamanca.”

Malden doubled-down on Noriega-Murphy being a Doctor, Jenn Spadafora, the vice-chair of the Malden Public Schools School Committee claimed she had seen the credentials but could not share anything as she and all of the School Committee members signed a Non-Disclosure agreement with Noriega-Murphy. When Mayor Gary Christenson unexpectedly announced the termination or resignation or non-renewal (we still do not know what happened, as Malden refuses to provide the records of the meetings in an un-redacted form) of Noriega-Murphy, his emphasis on the phrase “DOCTOR Noriega-Murphy” is palpable and strange.

We wish Ms. Noriega-Murphy well and we hope that this is a new path for her and that she will serve wherever she goes next with distinction and honor. We also hope that she now recognizes the importance of academic integrity and she must not only expect that her students act with integrity, she must as well.

OpenCommonwealth’s Files regarding Ligia Noriega-Murphy can be found here: