Listen Alberto Monserrate, chair of the Minneapolis Board of Education, speaks with MPR News about leadership at Washburn and the district's hiring practices
The Minneapolis school district has removed a newly hired principal over accusations that he tampered with student test scores in a previous job.
Patrick Exner had just started his job as Washburn High School Principal on Monday but was put on administrative leave after an anonymous email sent to district and state officials alleged he changed answers on student assessment tests last spring while working at a charter school in Hopkins.
In a statement, Minneapolis Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson said Exner has been removed from his job and that the issues surrounding him had become a distraction.
She did not say whether he's been fired from the district.
Johnson said she was glad the issues came to light, but would have preferred they popped up during the hiring process, which she characterized as thorough.
An assistant principal will take over at Washburn for now, just a few weeks before classes begin.
The district plans to restart the search process to find a Washburn principal.
Washburn assistant principal Linda Conley will lead Washburn for now, just a few weeks before classes begin. Conley will receive support from Craig Vana, who served as Washburn's interim principal before Exner was hired.
Exner came to Washburn after last year's reassignment of principal Carol Markham-Cousins. Cousins was moved from the school after several high profile incidents, including the hanging of a dark-skinned doll by several students and a student walkout over a school personnel matter. District officials claimed the incidents had become a distraction for students.