Three Simcoe Muskoka District School Board employees accused of test tampering
Three employees with a local school board are being accused of tampering with literacy tests.
Principal Christine Vellinga, acting Vice-Principal and Teacher Andrew Burke and Teacher Gregory Quinn are all accused of misconduct by the Ontario College of Teachers. The charges stem from an incident in 2016 when 21 high school students were asked to complete missed answers in their EQAO Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test booklets after they were handed in. The three employees allegedly reviewed test booklets to find incomplete answers, which is against EQAO provincial testing rules. Booklets are to be collected and kept secure before being sent back to the provincial organization. The students attended a school with the Simcoe Muskoka District School Board, but the OCT hasn’t specified which school it was.The EQAO withheld the school’s OSSLT scores for the 2015-2016 school year.
After the incident was reported to the OCT, Vellinga was suspended for 20 days without pay and demoted to vice-principal. Andrew Burke was suspended for 10 days without pay and Quinn was also suspended for five days without pay.
Vellinga has a hearing with the OCT on January 26th. The other two teachers haven’t had a hearing scheduled yet. The SMCDSB says these allegations are very concerning and it conducted an investigation as soon as it learned about the test tampering allegations. The school board couldn’t comment further but did confirm the school involved was not in Muskoka.