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Newport Principal Suspended Over Test Irregularities

The principal at Newport Intermediate School was placed on 10-day suspension without pay on Thursday.

Joshua Snapp may face additional disciplinary action pending an investigation into the matter, Newport Independent Schools said in a statement. The district has been in contact with the Kentucky Department of Education over the irregularities reported from the administering of state standardized tests.

The district declined to release further information.

Snapp released the following statement:

I make zero excuses. As a leader, I made the wrong choice. I have let down my family, students, staff, administration and peers. I provided nine  students extra time on the Kentucky State test. As a professional educator, I know my choice is contrary to Kentucky Teaching Standards and not within the state testing guidelines.

As a human being however, I am not immune from errors in judgment. I have dedicated my career, 17 years in education, to students in inner city schools. My students, your students, our students face challenges only some have read of. The impact of poverty alone, fatigue, worry and concern on the faces and hearts of my students drives me to make a better future for them. 

There are mountains of issues a large population of our students face. Some are homeless, many are hungry, some are abused and neglected. When tests are placed in front of them, the test becomes one more obstacle the child must overcome, one more pressure, or concern. We provide weekend meals for 20 percent of our population. How can one focus if hungry? 

I requested nine students take additional time on their test. But still, it was an error on my part, an error in my judgment. Were I to have this to redo-I would have not given those nine students extra time on the state test.

I am well intended and I am an educator. I have taken in homeless Newport students, brothers. My family and I have dedicated our lives to helping others. My heart is in the right place-always. My actions, although well intended, were contrary to standards.

The staff at Newport Schools are dedicated and have a tremendous heart for those we serve. I wished to protect them, our school and most importantly our students. My decision was rash and I regret it. I do not regret  giving my entire career to these kids. And I’ll continue to make changes, to grow and I hope for the opportunity to continue to give that same spirit to students.

Snapp was named principal of the intermediate school last year after serving in the same role at the primary school.

-Michael Monks, editor & publisher