Educators Caught Leaking Test Questions

By Nathan Burstein

Published June 02, 2010, issue of June 11, 2010.
  • Print
  • Share Share

It was criminal detectives who had to do the toughest problem solving on a recent math test for Israeli high school seniors.

ISTOCK PHOTO

The Israel Police Fraud and Investigations Unit appeared May 30 to have cracked the case related to this year’s math bagrut, successfully determining the identity of those who leaked test material in the days leading up to the May 24 exam.

Erez Cohen, a teacher from the Haifa area, and Rachel Kedem, a member of the Education Ministry committee that writes the exam, are likely to be indicted for their roles in the scheme, which placed test questions in the hands of students as they crammed for the all-important year-end test, roughly equivalent to the math portion of the American SAT. Students cannot graduate high school in Israel without qualifying test scores.

Cohen, a teacher at the preparatory academy of Haifa’s Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, is believed to have passed the material he received from Kedem to one of his own pupils, who in turn sold the questions to as many as several hundred other students. Cohen claimed in an interview with Israel’s Channel 2 that he believed he was supplying the student with questions from a “draft” exam, rather than with questions that would appear on the actual test. Neither he nor Kedem is suspected of receiving money from students.

Already a stressful day for high schoolers and administrators, the math bagrut caused more havoc than usual this year, with the Education Ministry initially uncertain about how to respond. After delaying the exam by 24 hours and assembling new questions, the ministry was flooded by complaints from teachers, who had problems downloading the new test from a specially created website.

Nevertheless, the ministry sought to put a positive spin on the fiasco, thanking the police in a public statement, and noting the “important educational and ethical lesson” students could learn from the incident.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Why does the leader of Israel's social protest movement now work in a beauty parlor instead of the Knesset?
  • What's it like to be Chagall's granddaughter?
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.