500 Scripps Ranch High School students must retake AP exam due to testing error

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — The San Diego School Board notified Scripps Ranch High School that about 500 students have to retake their advanced placement exam.

Parents and students are outraged, especially because of the reason behind the retake.

Usually when there is word of an AP testing retake, there is evidence of cheating, but that’s not the case here. This retake is because there was an error by the test administrator seating the desks too close together. 

The college board and its test administrator — Educational Testing Service — notified the district this week of the error.

On Friday, Superintendent Cindy Marten held a press conference to announce that all the scores will be invalidated and students will need to re-test. 

The error occurred when the students were seated too closely together and partitions were placed between students. Seating rules, which prohibit the use of partitions, were put in place by the testing service to ensure that no students can gain an unfair advantage over other students. 

Marten said she strongly disagrees with the decision by ETS to throw out the scores, but that comes as little comfort to students and parents who are now faced with another stressful, inconvenient round of AP testing.

"This is the stuff that I memorized and worked hard to understand for the test, and so to me, all this stuff, it just feels like the counselors are throwing this away, something that I worked so hard for and I mean the apology just sounds canned and typical, but that’s OK," said Zak McGaugh of Scripps Ranch High School, Class of 2017.

"On behalf of Scripps Ranch High School and all San Diego Unified, we deeply regret the fact that established procedures were not followed in this instance. We’ve accepted responsibility for the fact and we are conducting an internal review of AP test taking procedures at other high schools," Superintendent Marten said. 

So far, there are two retesting opportunities scheduled in July and August, both will be free for all students.

If a child decides not to retest, they will get a refund for exam fees.

The school board is offering free prep sessions and personalized help in communicating with any colleges to explain the situation.

Categories: Local San Diego News