School Exams Are Trade Secrets, Ohio Court Says

     (CN) – An Ohio school district does not have to provide copies of exams under the Public Records Act, because they are protected trade secrets, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled.

     Cincinnati Public Schools administered ninth-grade semester exams as part of their five-year strategic plan called “Building Futures.”
     Nobody is allowed to make copies of the tests, and they are returned to a central storage location after students take them.
     Paul Perrea, a teacher at Cincinnati’s Hughes High School, repeatedly asked for access to the tests but was denied. He said he wanted to use them “for criticism, research, comment, and/or education.”
     The Ohio Supreme Court denied Perrea’s request to see the exams on the grounds that the same questions are used every year, and they could fall into students’ hands.
     “Perrea is not entitled to disclosure of these records, because they are trade secrets and are not public records,” Justice Lanzinger wrote.

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