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!
  • "Selma. Nearly 50 years ago it was violent Selma, impossibly racist Selma, site of Bloody Sunday, when peaceful civil rights marchers made their first attempt to cross the Pettus Street Bridge on the way to the state capitol in Montgomery, Alabama." http://jd.fo/r50mf With the 50th anniversary approaching next spring, a new coalition is bringing together blacks, Jews and others for progressive change.
  • Kosovo's centuries-old Jewish community is down to a few dozen. In a nation where the population is 90% Muslim, they are proud their past — and wonder why Israel won't recognize their state. http://jd.fo/h4wK0
  • Israelis are taking up the #IceBucketChallenge — with hummus.
  • In WWI, Jews fought for Britain. So why were they treated as outsiders?
  • According to a new poll, 75% of Israeli Jews oppose intermarriage.
  • Will Lubavitcher Rabbi Moshe Wiener be the next Met Council CEO?
  • Angelina Jolie changed everything — but not just for the better:
  • Prime Suspect? Prime Minister.
  • Move over Dr. Ruth — there’s a (not-so) new sassy Jewish sex-therapist in town. Her name is Shirley Zussman — and just turned 100 years old.
  • From kosher wine to Ecstasy, presenting some of our best bootlegs:
  • Sara Kramer is not the first New Yorker to feel the alluring pull of the West Coast — but she might be the first heading there with Turkish Urfa pepper and za’atar in her suitcase.
  • About 1 in 40 American Jews will get pancreatic cancer (Ruth Bader Ginsberg is one of the few survivors).
  • At which grade level should classroom discussions include topics like the death of civilians kidnapping of young Israelis and sirens warning of incoming rockets?
  • Wanted: Met Council CEO.
  • “Look, on the one hand, I understand him,” says Rivka Ben-Pazi, a niece of Elchanan Hameiri, the boy that Henk Zanoli saved. “He had a family tragedy.” But on the other hand, she said, “I think he was wrong.” What do you think?
  • 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.