Results for last year’s standardized tests at Huron Heights French Immersion public school will be invalidated after an investigation confirmed the principal opened the exams improperly.A blogger / tweeter I follow was in the audience and has children at the school. Her post about the meeting and the consequence -- principal Francine Rheault has been removed from the school and any further consequence(s) will be dealt with through the board's human resources services department -- is here.
Parents learned Wednesday night the principal’s actions may have given teachers a sneak peek at the tests.
The principal has been permanently removed for her role in the scandal, which has rocked the tight-knit northeast London school.
“There is no excuse or tolerance for professional misconduct,” said Karen Wilkinson, superintendent of education for the Thames Valley District school board. Wilkinson outlined the results of an investigation into cheating during annual Education Quality Accountability Office (EQAO) tests at the school.
Some discrepancy with rules of how the tests are opened, they said. It was an anonymous tip from some clearly courageous (read: cowardly) individual who decided they needed to stir things up a bit at a school where the children are some of the brightest I've ever met and the teachers are some of the hardest-working. Karen Wilkinson of EQAO (ed. note: she's a TVDSB superintendent) noted that there was no evidence suggesting that the kid's test results were compromised. And yet we lost our beloved principal Francine Rheault.It's unfortunate that some people make poor choices when it comes to how the EQAO tests are administered. The rules are very clear, and the options available to a school board or the EQAO when it becomes aware of someone breaking the rules leave little room for flexibility. The integrity and independence of the tests must be upheld if the data produced by the tests is to maintain its integrity. That data -- to those who wish to and know how to use it to inform instruction -- is so valuable because the EQAO takes the steps it does to ensure the integrity of the only mass, independently administered evaluation of key skills in literacy and numeracy. I empathize, deeply, for the school community that has lost a leader it trusted and valued. A leader who made a poor choice and decided to show teachers the test before it was opened and given to the students. If this sort of choice is allowed to stand without repercussion then it will happen elsewhere (it likely does) and then how independent is the test? I don't agree with the blogger's opinion in calling the whistleblower a coward. It takes courage to do what that person did.
Some will comment, as this mom has, about the stressful way in which the tests are administered and the way some schools continue to choose to prepare their students for it. It's unfortunate these choices continue to be made-- I've seen teachers successfully handle this preparation in a way that doesn't overly stress them out.
The school board has acted appropriately. It's a loss to the school community, but I wouldn't want a principal who
The message here should be that this principal made a poor choice. Now others are affected by the consequence of that bad choice.
In a related note, the London District Catholic School Board (coterminous board to the TVDSB) launched an investigation into concerns over EQAO testing at one of its Tillsonburg schools last week-- another situation where the concerns centre on the school principal, a man honoured as one of Canada's best principals by The Learning Partnership last year.