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Suspension administered to Okanagan teacher for giving students copy of ‘secure exam’

In a four-page ruling that led to a three-day suspension, the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation says the teacher gave her English 12 students a copy of a previous provincial exam.
In a four-page ruling that led to a three-day suspension, the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation says the teacher gave her English 12 students a copy of a previous provincial exam. Getty Images

A Vernon teacher is facing a three-day suspension for giving her students a copy of an exam that had not been released, to use as a study aid.

On Tuesday, the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation (BCCTR) released the four-page ruling about the suspension.

According to the BCCTR, during the 2017-18 school year, the longtime teacher gave her English 12 students a copy of a previous provincial exam.

Though the exam had been used before, it was deemed “secure” by the Ministry of Education and had not been “released to use as a study or practice aid.”

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The BCCTR said the teacher “obtained the secure exam when she met with a student to review their exam. She was told by the school principal to ‘get rid’ of the secure exam after she reviewed it with the student, but she kept it.”

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The teacher “used this secure exam to prepare her students, even though she was aware that the Ministry of Education re-used readings and questions from the secure exams.”

And when the teacher’s “class took the English 12 provincial exam on Jan. 25, 2018, it included content from the secure exam, which (she) had previously given to these students.”

Further, the BCCTR said the teacher did not tell the school administration of her breach of exam security, though she discussed with other English teachers at the school that she had shared exam content with her students.

The ruling said the teacher agreed to the facts, and admitted that sharing the secure exam constituted professional misconduct.

The three-day suspension will take place in mid-December.

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Also Tuesday, the BCCTR released a near-identical ruling for a male teacher in Coquitlam.

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The man also distributed to his English 12 students copies of a secure exam during the 2017-18 school year, adding he “distributed at least 15 readings and corresponding questions from secure exams.”

The man also worked as a provincial exam marker for the Ministry of Education from 2010 to 2018.

The five-page ruling said the teacher “was aware that the Ministry of Education exam rules state that students ‘must not be in possession of or have used any secure examination materials prior to the examination session,’ and state that students who cheat on examination will receive a zero mark. By giving students materials from the secure exam, (he) jeopardized the students’ final grades and academic integrity.”

His students took the English 12 exam in June of 2018.

His suspension was slightly longer – five days – and will take place in early December.

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