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Court rejects attempt to force release of AP scores

Court rejects attempt to force release of AP scores

On Friday, a federal court denied a request by the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) to force the College Board to validate recent Advance Placement (AP) test scores for Scripps Ranch High School (SRHS) students. 

A SDUSD spokeswoman stated that the district’s legal team will be meeting next week to determine its next steps.

The SDUSD school board voted unanimously July 6 to file legal action against the College Board in an attempt to reinstate the AP exam scores for 547 SRHS students that the College Board recently ruled invalid due to irregularities during administration of the tests in May. 

The school district’s legal action came in the form of a temporary restraining order filed by the SDUSD against the College Entrance Examination Board and Educational Testing Services (ETS). The legal action requested that the College Board be ordered to grade and validate AP tests administered in May, and report the scores to colleges as specified by the students. 

In late June, the College Board notified SDUSD that the scores had been invalidated, citing seating irregularities when the AP exams were administered to SRHS students. According to the College Board, tables used for the exams were not the correct size and partitions were placed between the students, which is against the rules. However, the students who finished the exams were not at fault in any way.

SDUSD officials scrambled to notify students, schedule makeup tests and attempt to provide summertime AP exam study sessions. 

While none of the students whose scores were affected were in any way responsible for the way the tests were administered, they were left without valid scores and had to cancel summer plans to make themselves available for retesting. Many students were not able adjust their schedules and will miss retesting. 

The high burden on students and families affected, as well as the minute degree of perceived irregularities in which the College Board based its decision, were a couple of reasons SDUSD decided to take legal action. 

Now, those students who are able must retake new AP exams. Retesting will begin Monday, July 17 with more testing July 18, 19 and 20. A second set of tests will be administered Aug. 7-10.  

Trevor Packer, Sr. Vice President of AP and Instruction at the College Board reportedly released a statement, saying, “… The school’s seating violations were not by inches, but by feet, and the school’s use of partitions was clearly prohibited. This ruling affirms the difficult, yet necessary, decision that we made in order to ensure that no student has an unfair advantage. 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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