Accusation of Cheating on the FTCE
The Florida Department of Education has published Principles of Professional Conduct on their site that outline their expectations for those who qualify for Florida teacher certification. One of the ways you can have your certification sanctioned is to be accused of cheating on the FTCE, or Florida Teacher Certification Examination. Before receiving your Florida Teacher Certification, the Florida Department of Education requires that you pass several exams corresponding to the certification in which you are trying to obtain.
The exams are given at a proctored facility that takes many precautions against cheating. No electronic items or devices are to be brought in. No additional sheets or papers, binders, scratch sheets or personal calculators are allowed, either. Materials deemed necessary are provided by the testing facility. If you are accused of cheating, you will be reported to the Florida Department of Education and investigated by the Commissioner of Education.
Ways of Cheating on the FTCE that You May Not Recognize
If you went into a facility with no electronic devices, no papers to copy from and no pre-printed-out material, how can you be accused of cheating? Certainly, if you copy answers from another exam taker, that is obviously cheating and it’s doubtful you would be scratching your head at the accusation.
However, if you simply prepared for the exam and came in with knowledge in your head, could that be cheating? The Florida Department of Education outlines actions considered to be cheating in its Cheating Letter posted on their site, and sent out to those being accused. Here are some of the prohibitions placed on exam-takers that are designated as cheating:
- Prior to your exam, you may not seek out, study, memorize or quote sections from papers, questions or answers related to the exam. This applies to material you receive from friends, other students, that you purchase or receive as a gift, or that you may receive from a hired or volunteer tutor. This is considered cheating and you may be accused of plagiarism.
- You cannot prewrite and memorize answers to questions. In Florida, you can take these exams as many times as you want without penalty. If you do not pass, you may wait for a few weeks and try again as many times as you like. After a few practice attempts, you will begin to see the same questions. You may not, at any time, write those exam questions out from memory, practice writing your new answers at home or get tutors to help respond to those kinds of questions. This is also considered cheating.
- If you give your exam questions and/or the answers that you practiced ahead to another person and they respond too closely to the answers from your exam responses, you could also be accused of cheating.
Penalties for Cheating on the FTCE:
- Your exam is rendered null and void and no testing fees will be refunded.
- You will be reported to the Florida Department of Education.
- You will receive a letter of administrative complaint from the Florida Department of Education that will detail the reasons and/or specific charges of cheating.
- If you cheated on a first application exam for certification, your application will be denied. If the testing was for additional or re-certification, you will face the possibility of certification suspension or permanent revocation. This is referred to as certification sanction.
If you are accused of cheating on the FTCE, you have no time to waste. There are legal options for how you respond to the accusation. A skilled and knowledgeable attorney can help you sort through the process. You need to know your rights and follow the best strategy for protecting your livelihood and reputation. Tison Law Group is there for you. Contact us for a free consultation today.