Education Ministry should rethink handling of leaked history exam, school boards say

English school boards in Quebec are banding together to try to persuade the Education Ministry to rethink its handling of a leaked question in the province's Grade 10 history exam.

Not clear if decision to cancel essay question means more students will fail

The essay question in Quebec's Grade 10 history exam was leaked online last week. (Reuters/Vincent Kessler)

English school boards in Quebec are banding together to try to persuade the province to rethink its handling of a controversial Grade 10 history exam.

The Education Ministry cancelled the results of an essay question worth 24 per cent of the exam after it was leaked online. That means more weight will be given to the short answer and multiple choice components of the test, for both the English and French-language versions.

Suanne Stein Day, the chair of the Lester B. Pearson School Board, said it's not clear yet if cancelling the question means more students will fail. 

"What the English school boards have agreed to do is to do an analysis of all the exams with and without that question counted," she told CBC Montreal's Daybreak.

She hopes the boards can come up with a plan that will be fairer for all students who took the exam.

Chaher Soliman said his son Justin, a student at John Rennie High in Pointe-Claire, is convinced he did well on the essay question and likely would have passed if it were counted.

"When he came home after the exam last week, he seemed upbeat and happy because he did well on that long question," Soliman said.

But Soliman received an email on Tuesday informing him that Justin had failed. That means his son will have to attend summer school to pass the course, which is required to get a high school diploma.

"The decision that the ministry has taken is very wrong," he said,