A day after the College Board notified colleges that it had misreported the scores of 4,000 students who took the SAT exam in October, an official of the testing organization disclosed that some of the errors were far larger than initially suggested.Imagine how much anguish was caused to kids getting such incomprehensible scores and how much they were harmed in the admissions process.
With college counselors and admissions officials scrambling to take a second look at student scores in the final weeks before they mail out acceptances and rejections, Chiara Coletti, the College Board's vice president for public affairs, said that 16 students out of the 495,000 who took the October exam had scores that should have been more than 200 points higher.
"There were no changes at all that were more than 400 points," Ms. Coletti said. She did not say how many students had errors that big. The three-section test has a maximum score of 2400.
The board said yesterday that it had finished notifying high schools and students about discrepancies. It said it would return the fees the affected students had paid to take the exam and to send the results to colleges and scholarship organizations....You don't have to be litigious to feel entitled to more than a return of the fee. Bring on the lawsuit!
"I hardly think a refund of the test fee will make up for that pain," Mr. Poch said, "and in this litigation-driven society, I wonder how long it will take for a class-action suit to emerge."
UPDATE: The NYT puts up a second article on the controversy:
The scoring errors disclosed this week on thousands of the College Board's SAT tests were made by a company that is one of the largest players in the exploding standardized testing business, handling millions of tests each year.
The mistakes by the company, Pearson Educational Measurement, raised fresh questions about the reliability of the kinds of high-stakes tests that increasingly dominate education at all levels. Neither Pearson, which handles state testing across the country, nor the powerful College Board detected the scoring problems until two students came forward with complaints.
"The story here is not that they made a mistake in the scanning and scoring, but that they seem to have no fail safe to alert them directly and immediately of a mistake," said Marilee Jones, dean of admissions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. " To depend on test takers who challenge the scores to learn about system failure is not good."