Defendants invalidated 844 Advanced Placement tests taken by Scripps Ranch students.
  • Defendants invalidated 844 Advanced Placement tests taken by Scripps Ranch students.
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The San Diego Unified School District and Scripps Ranch Group, representing Scripps Ranch High School, filed suit July 7 in federal court against Educational Testing Services and the College Entrance Examination Board, both of New York.

The gist of the suit (reported in story earlier this morning) is that the defendants invalidated 844 Advanced Placement tests taken by Scripps students because during the tests last May, the students sat four feet apart instead of five feet apart as specified in the Advanced Placement Coordinator Manual.

The invalidated tests were in biology, calculus, computer science, English language and composition, English literature and composition, psychology, statistics and United States history. This claim of irregularity means that 543 Scripps students had their tests thrown out. The decision to jettison tests was made "without any determination that there had been any cheating or misconduct by any of these students," according to the suit, and "the students were never informed, advised, or instructed that a deviation from the seating policy, no matter how small, would automatically invalidate their test scores,"

Through Advance Placement tests, some students can earn college credits while in high school. Also, high scores can help students avoid introductory courses in college.

Advanced Placement classes "are the most difficult and time-consuming courses offered to high school students," says the suit. Students purchase Advanced Placement examination preparation materials. Now students will have to study their materials again and may be working, vacationing, or otherwise occupied during the summer, giving them a disadvantage in a second testing, according to the suit, which seeks to require the testing companies to accept results of the May tests and pay damages, among other punitive actions.

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Comments

JustWondering July 10, 2017 @ 12:28 p.m.

Who setup the room and who proctored the tests? The person, group, or organization should be held responsible.

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Don Bauder July 10, 2017 @ 12:32 p.m.

JustWondering: The suit does not claim that the defendants set up or proctored the tests. It's seems clear from the suit that someone connected with Scripps or the school district set up the tests and didn't follow instructions. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 10, 2017 @ 12:33 p.m.

Mike Murphy: If the 500+ students take the tests again, I assume taxpayers would pick up the tab. Best, Don Bauder

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MURPHYJUNK July 10, 2017 @ 2:23 p.m.

I was thinking of the lawsuit, lawyer, time, and so on

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Don Bauder July 10, 2017 @ 2:50 p.m.

Murphyjunk: You are right on that. Taxpayers will pay lawyers for the suit or negotiating a settlement, I imagine. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 10, 2017 @ 12:37 p.m.

Thomas Weller: What's the load of crap? That the students got cheated? That somebody was sloppy not following instructions when setting up the tests? That the students can take them again? That the school district and Scripps filed suit? That I chose to write this? Please specify the load of crap.

If I am the load of crap, please don't dump a bucket on me. However, my wife might be able to use it in her garden. Best, Don Bauder

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Julie Stalmer July 10, 2017 @ 1:16 p.m.

The college board got back to me this morning, they are giving students two fee free tests. However, I'm sure there are more costs associated with retaking the test than just the fee.

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Don Bauder July 10, 2017 @ 1:41 p.m.

Julie Stalmer: Thanks for the information and thanks for the fact-filled report this morning. Best, Don Bauder

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AlexClarke July 10, 2017 @ 5:27 p.m.

Once again school administrators and their minions show their incompetence. The students should not have to retake the test and those involved in this should be fired.

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Don Bauder July 11, 2017 @ 6:59 a.m.

AlexClarke: Don't hold your breath. Best, Don Bauder

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Visduh July 10, 2017 @ 5:38 p.m.

A few minutes ago I posted a comment to the earlier item by Julie Stalmer. My comments there represent what I thought then and now.

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Don Bauder July 11, 2017 @ 7 a.m.

Visduh: I will check it out. Best, Don Bauder

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monaghan July 10, 2017 @ 8:52 p.m.

High-dudgeon Board of Education member Kevin Bieser and silent Superintendent Cindy Marten have no business suing anybody (with taxpayers' money) over the recent shoddy administration of the Advanced Placement Test at Scripps Ranch High School.

Formal written rules accompany these exams. Schools, as well as students, are expected to follow them to the letter. The administration at Scripps Ranch High and the proctor(s) (most likely Scripps Ranch staff) were responsible for the foul-up. And their masters at 4100 Normal Street ought to pick up monetary damages due students and their families for any required re-dos.

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Don Bauder July 11, 2017 @ 7:04 a.m.

monaghan: Good points. We don't know who screwed up at Scripps and/or the school district. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 11, 2017 @ 10:31 a.m.

Mike Murphy: Apparently, the testing company is giving the re-tests free. But that may not cover all the costs. Best, Don Bauder

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Visduh July 11, 2017 @ 8:09 p.m.

I do wonder what will happen if some judge does rule for the district, and especially if she/he grants an injunction against the ETS, requiring the release of those test scores with no reservation. What will the "Massachestnuts" based testing agencies then do? Populism in California courts has brought much anguish to many court participants.

Actually, I can't wait to see that the outcome in the courts will be. What I really relish is the picture of the elites from New England deciding to settle this, rather than lose in La-la-land California court. If that happens the brahmins will be in anguish. It would/will serve them right.

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Don Bauder July 12, 2017 @ 7:17 a.m.

Visduh: The brahmins have already offered to let the students take another test without a fee. To me, though, the blame lies with the high school. For whatever reason, it did not follow the rules. Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering July 14, 2017 @ 7:33 a.m.

Who said, "rules is rules" when courts get to make their interpretations of said rules. Guess this is what it comes to when clearly written rules are not followed by overly compensated simpletons who educate our children. So now the taxpayers, who paid the salary for the proctor(s) who didn't follow the rules. Paid for the use of the space/facility, are now paying for all the costs of the litigation, including the court salaries and costs. Will be paying to re-administer and supervise the tests for a second time. But will anyone be held accountable by school officials? A reprimand? Suspension? Cost recovery? Anything, even an apology? Nah, probably a shrug of the shoulders. It's not there money, it's other people money.

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Don Bauder July 14, 2017 @ 7:51 p.m.

JustWondering: I can't pick up any more U-T stories even though I am an online subscriber. Can you send another version of that story? Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering July 15, 2017 @ 8:03 a.m.

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/education/sd-me-test-hearing-20170714-story.html. Here is the article if your IP address is blocked or restricted in some way.

A federal judge has ruled that the College Board had the right to invalidate Advanced Placement tests taken by 543 Scripps Ranch High School students.

Judge Anello said he was sympathetic to the inconvenience and frustrations of the students whose tests were invalidated because of seating irregularitied, he disagreed that re-taking the test would cause harm to them, as the school's attorneys argued.

Students study for months before taking AP tests, and high scores mean college credit for certain courses, saving thousands of dollars in tuition and even allowing students to graduate early.

Scripps Ranch High students took the tests in May, and the College Board notified the district in late June that it was invalidating many of the tests because of how students were seated. As they were too close together and separated by partitions, which are not allowed.

Attorney William Low, argued that the College Board’s own guidelines say test may, not must, be invalidated because of seating irregularities.

The rules were couched in a way to give the College Board the discretion to not issue such a severe punishment, he said.

Attorney Chris Casamassima, representing the College Board, argued students take the tests each year and consistency in testing is crucial to maintain the integrity of the tests.

Anello’s ruling was on the district’s requests for a temporary restraining order, which would have compelled the College Board to release the invalidated test scores.

An injunction also sought by the district against the College Board still is pending, but its relevance may be moot with Friday’s decisions. Students are scheduled to begin taking the first round of make-up AP tests on Monday.

Andra Donovan, general counsel for the school district, said a decision about whether to pursue the injunction has not yet been made.

Ryan Tannenberg, who graduated from Scripps Ranch High this year, was disappointed with the judge’s decision.

“I think it’s ridiculous,” he said. “Anyone with a sense of moral judgment would have ruled in our favor.”

Tannenberg said he took AP tests in psychology and calculus, but plans to only take the psychology tests again.

Shortly after the ruling, the College Board issued a statement that said an investigation into the school’s seating chart was prompted by a report of cheating during the exam. No students whose tests were invalidated were accused of cheating, however.

“This ruling affirms the difficult, yet necessary, decision that we made in order to ensure that no student has an unfair advantage,” the statement read. “To uphold our commitment to safeguarding the integrity of AP scores, as colleges rightly expect, the College Board had no alternative but to cancel the affected tests.”

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Don Bauder July 15, 2017 @ 8:12 a.m.

JustWondering: SD Unified and Scripps Ranch H.S. lost the suit. Best, Don Bauder

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