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Published August 09, 2013, 11:38 AM

Minneapolis school removes new principal

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A newly hired Minneapolis school principal has lost his job amid allegations that he tampered with state assessment tests.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A newly hired Minneapolis school principal has lost his job amid allegations that he tampered with state assessment tests.

Patrick Exner started at Washburn High School on Monday, was put on leave Tuesday, publicly accused Wednesday and lost his job Thursday, according to the Star Tribune.

Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson issued a statement, saying she decided he would no longer be principal and the issues surrounding his hiring have created a distraction.

"We are glad that the issue was brought to our attention, although we would have preferred to learn of any possible issues of concern during the hiring process and before the job offer was made," she said.

An anonymous email to state and district officials claimed Exner altered exam answers for three students while working at a Hopkins charter school.

Exner came to the 1,200-student Washburn after another principal was moved due to several high-profile incidents that district officials claimed were a distractiob,

Exner hasn't responded to the newspaper's attempts for comment. The Associated Press couldn't find a current telephone listing for Exner.

By Thursday, parents were raising questions about the quality of the district's search for a new Washburn principal. From a pool of 23 applicants, Exner was the only candidate forwarded to the school for a parent-teacher interview.

Johnson said the district "conducted a thorough hiring process for the Washburn principal position, including references calls, and nothing surfaced as a potential problem."

Assistant Principal Linda Conley will serve as interim principal, with help from others, Johnson said.

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