Former Cambridge principal admits role in scheme to boost EQAO test scores

The former principal of École secondaire catholique Père-Réne-de-Galinée in Cambridge has admitted playing a role in a scheme to keep her school's provincial test scores high.

Students instructed by staff to either cheat or enabled to miss an important literacy test

The allegations against Carole Wilson relate to events that happened while she was principal of École secondaire catholique Père-Réne-de-Galinée in Cambridge. (Google Street View)

The former principal of a French Catholic secondary school in Cambridge has admitted to playing a role in a scheme to keep her school's provincial test scores high, including helping some students cheat and barring others from taking the standardized test. 

She committed acts that ... would reasonably be regarded by members as disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional.- Ontario College of Teachers

​Carole Wilson appeared before the discipline committee of the Ontario College of Teachers Monday morning.

Her former vice principal, Marc Lamoureux, admitted involvement in the same scheme, and appeared before the committee in the afternoon.

The allegations against them relate to events that happened during the 2010-2011 school year, when both worked at École secondaire catholique Père-René-de-Galinée.

A Radio-Canada investigation revealed a group of students at the school were told they were not good enough to take the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test and were either instructed by staff to cheat or enabled to miss the test.

According to a notice of hearing, Wilson allegedly did the following to inflate her school's EQAO scores: 

  • Allowed staff to exempt eight students from the test.
  • Allowed staff to prepare Individual Education Plans for three students, so that they could receive special accommodations during the test.
  • Allowed staff to withdraw 15 students from regular class to attend remedial sessions.
  • Allowed staff to select six students, who could defer taking the test.
  • Allowed students, on the day of the test, to ask teachers administering the test to provide explanations and translations in English.
  • Allowed teachers to give students their EQAO assessments after the administration session, so that students could make corrections or complete answers.

"She failed to maintain the standards of the profession," the college said in the notice.

"She committed acts that, having regard to all the circumstances, would reasonably be regarded by members as disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional," the college alleged.

In order to boost the school's scores, the college alleged Lamoureux:

  • Suggested the principal allow staff to exempt eight students from the test.
  • Allowed staff to prepare Individual Education Plans for three students, so that they could receive special accommodations during the test.
  • Allowed staff to withdraw 15 students from regular class to attend remedial sessions.
  • Told a group of students that they were not good enough to write the test.
  • Told students that they could ask for interpretation, explanation and translation from teachers invigilating EQAO tests.
  • Allowed students, on the day of the test, to ask teachers administering the test to provide explanations and translations in English.
  • Allowed teachers to give students their EQAO assessments after the administration session, so that students could make corrections or complete answers.

The Ontario College of Teachers has temporarily suspended both Wilson and Lamoureux from work with the school board, but said they can reduce the length of their suspensions by taking a course on ethics.

Each administrator was also privately given a verbal reprimand.

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