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IB examiner stayed in post after Wiki plagiarism revealed

News | Published in TES Newspaper on 15 October, 2010 | By: William Stewart

An International Baccalaureate examiner who plagiarised Wikipedia in a marking guide remained with the exam board for more than five weeks after it first became aware of the problem, The TES has learned.

In a statement, the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) said the examiner had resigned last Friday, the day The TES revealed large chunks of plagiarism in the guide for marking a history paper sat by about 20,000 candidates.

In a letter to schools this week, Jeffrey Beard, IBO director general, wrote: "We have and always will take immediate and appropriate action when we discover any violation of our policies or standards."

But the letter also confirms that it was "late August" when "the IB became aware that a mark scheme associated with a history question paper contained plagiarised material".

Sent to the heads of more than 3,000 schools worldwide offering the IB, it says it "deeply regrets" the plagiarism. But it only mentions one marking guide. Last week the IBO told The TES it was also investigating two other guides where it has been suggested plagiarism took place.

There is no mention of the examiner's resignation in the letter. But it says: "The examiner concerned is no longer involved in writing question papers or mark schemes."

This is the second time in the past month that Mr Beard has had to write to IB schools about plagiarism in his exam board.

In the first, he had to explain his own embarrassing "oversight" when he plagiarised the work of another educationalist in a speech given to a US academic institution.

Reacting to Mr Beard's subsequent apology, one teacher wrote on The TES website: "The IB takes a firm stance on plagiarism and rightly so. When this happens, young people's academic dreams are dashed.

"They are given no opportunity to say, 'Oops, sorry!'"

An IBO spokeswoman said: "It was a voluntary resignation (by the examiner) at a time when they were not conducting any work for the IB."


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Comment (3)

  • Did the IB examiner actually resign from IBO? Words should mean something. Beard's statement - "The examiner concerned is no longer involved in writing question papers or mark schemes." doesn't mean that the examiner is not involved with the company in some other aptitude.

    This individual shouldn't have been protected by IBO and given the "dignity" of voluntary resignation. IBO should have fired the examiner immediately upon discovery of the plagiarism.

    http://truthaboutib.com/

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

    13:48
    15 October, 2010

    TruthAboutIB

  • Here is a detailed account of the "plagiarism" speech that Jeff Beard, Director
    General of the IB, gave
    http://wanderingacademic.com/from-the-editor/ib-plagiarism-a-feature-of-its-immaturity/

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

    0:01
    20 October, 2010

    harry999

  • "The examiner concerned is no longer involved in writing question papers or mark schemes." doesn't mean that the examiner is not involved with the company in some other aptitude.

    It also doesn't mean they are. I don;t know why you want to beg the question here like that?

    IB examiners are hired on a session basis and not employed by the IB as members of the organisation. They have plenty of examiners to choose from. I suspect the person won't be hired again.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

    7:59
    23 October, 2010

    mbrierley

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