Minutes confirm reprimand urged in Ubah tests
- Blog Post by: Steve Brandt
- August 22, 2013 - 9:55 AM
Newly released minutes for the July board meeting of Ubah Medical Academy indicate that the charter school's director urged that a reprimand be issued after results of a state test were compromised.
The minutes do not name the individual to be reprimanded. But the school's report to the Minnesota Department of Education list its former associate director, Patrick Exner, as the school's assessment coordinator, and a board member, speaking on condition of anonymity, identified Exner as the target of the recommended reprimand.
Exner has been on paid administrative leave for Minneapoolis public schools since his second day on the job, and was removed from the position of new principal at Washburn High School in his fourth day. Both actions followed an anonymous e-mail that accused him of testing misconduct at Ubah.
The e-mail accused Exner of changing the answers of three students on the state GRAD test, which he has flatly denied. However, a Ubah staff member told the Star Tribune of witnessing Exner changing answers after the students finished their tests in the June 4 incident.
According to Ubah board minutes, school Director Musa Farah told the Ubah board that his investigation found to be accurate a report that the school's test results had been compromised. "I am recommending the person concerned be reprimanded and excused from all test-related activities," the minutes say Farah told the board. He elaborated in discussion that there had been "improper proctoring," and that the test results had been invalidated.
The board eventually voted to defer to Farah taking action to resolve the matter. He didn't report the testing violation to the Minnesota Department of Education until more than five weeks after it occurred and 10 days after the board meeting. That report describes a breach of test security but makes no mention of changed answers.
However, an attorney representing Exner said that no discipline was ever imposed because Farah concluded that was not warranted after an investigation. Attorney Andrew Muller said in an e-mail that Exner returned to work and was on good terms with the school when he resigned to go to work for the Minneapolis district.
The school's formal response to a Star Tribune data practices act request regarding Exner states that a complaint was made against Exner, it was investigated, and and that investigation has concluded.
The Minneapolis district said that a complaint is pending against Exner, but that no final action has been taken on it. Muller said that Exner is optimistic that an impartial investigation by the district will reach the same conclusion that there was no basis for discipline against Exner.
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