SAT Scores For 200 Students Nixed at Brooklyn Heights’ Packer Institute

Nearly 200 students who took the SAT collegiate entrance exam at Packer Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn Heights on May 5 had their scores invalidated by the administrator of the test, according to an article in The New York Times. The reason: Some students were seated too closely together.

The decision outraged school administrators, students and parents, who say they are being “punished” for a technicality. Students that need results from the four-hour test for college applications will have to take it again (at no cost). Bruce Dennis, the head of Packer, told the Times, “To do this to 200 kids is unconscionable.”

Educational Testing Service, which administers the SAT on behalf of the College Board, confirmed that 199 scores from the exam were canceled after a “surprise” audit of the testing site. Dennis said the school’s ETS liaison was told by the company that some students were not seated the mandated 4 feet apart, although the Wall Street Journal says ETS’ “surprise audit revealed numerous infractions.”

Of the 199 students that took the SATs at Packer May 5, 63 who are enrolled at the school were impacted by the score cancellation. School officials learned of the issue when emails from parents started pouring in Tuesday, according to the WSJ story. Packer has retained a lawyer “to see that our students’ rights are protected.”

NYT notes that testing services have been on increased alert since a large cheating ring was uncovered on Long Island last year, involving test-takers impersonating other students.

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  • DrewB

    Oh Man! Someone is gonna pay for that!

  • David on Middagh

    They shouldn’t have to redo the essay section.

  • ColumbiaHeightster

    In 1997, I was one of a few dozen students whose SAT tests were LOST, and we had to retake it. Not sure which scenario is worse.

  • hicks st guy

    isn’t that an advantage, like having the best practice? I remember that I did better the second time around.

  • val
  • TeddyNYC

    @hicks st guy

    It’s possible that some may actually do worse. It’s basically the anxiety of wondering if I did better or worse the second time and will that benefit or hurt me.

  • She’s Crafty

    The Wall St. Journal said there were ‘numerous violations.’ Not sure what that means but it sounds like it could have been serious. I sympathize with the students but perhaps we shouldn’t second guess whether it’s justified or not. They’ll just have to take the test again and that’s that. Cute that Packer is sponsoring a bus and breakfast for those that have to venture out of the Heights to Coney Island (horrors!!)

  • http://n/a Barbara Shernoff

    Who was responsible for eating the students so closey together? Now these kids have to pay the price for someone else’s carelessness. Not right!!

  • http://n/a Barbara Shernoff

    Sorry for the typo–seating not eating, obviously.

  • north heights res

    Is anything written here original reporting? Or is it all culled from and re-written from the sources to which you link?

    If the latter, you obviate the need for readers to go to the original work, depriving those who actually did the work of page views, which leads to advertising, and which is one of the ways writers and reporters get paid.

    I love this blog, but posts like this seem parasitic.

    I hope that I’m wrong and that the information above comes not from the work others did, but from work this writer did.

  • Villager

    Oh, I’m sure they can “afford” to take it again.
    Rules is rules. At least no one here is arguing that. Although it sounds like the faculty and parents somehow think the rules should be bent for their circumstance. Shocking.

  • DrewB

    North Heights… Pretty much every blog is 90% re-printed material. Like this one, you usually find a small portion of an article with a link to the original content, as we have here, with some discussion. People can click through to the link to see the original article. That’s sort of what blogs are for. In fact most publishers are happy to have their articles linked on popular blogs because it does increase traffic by putting them in front of an audience that might not otherwise read their content That said the BHB does do some original reporting. But considering you’re reading it for free, and most of the people involved make little or no money, you should be happy to have a place that consolidates news about our neighborhood. Personally I think Homer and crew do a great job.

  • north heights res

    DrewB: I know that this is an au courant way to publish news. As a writer who’s work has been appropriated this way, I’m not a fan, particularly when so much of the original work is represented that there’s no real reason to go to the source. Excerpt less, link more seems to be a better way,

  • DrewB

    North Heights. I think you have to differentiate between content creators like yourself and content aggregaters like this blog. While I’ll agree that this specific article may have sourced more content than is necessary, it did not use the entire article. It provided a link. I clicked through to the original. If you are a journalist I’m sure you are aware that this is the nature of publishing these days. Even venerable publishers like the NYT end up giving away a lot of content online. If you put your material online, and allow free access to it, it will most likely be linked and quoted. The flip side is to put it behind a paywall and trust that people are will to pay for what you write. That’s the nature of the internet. I’m a musician. I’m constantly trying to balance how much of my work I want to give away in order to generate interest. I recognize that allowing a certain amount of my content to be accessed and shared for free can help build my audience.

  • Homer Fink

    north heights – are you in the news business?

  • Andrew Porter

    I am or maybe was in the news business, and Homer creates quite a lot of original content. I know, because I make him aware of stuff that’s going on, which I’ve observed.

    DrewB, saying “pretty much every blog is 90% re-printed [sic] material” is, to use a word, Wrong.

  • WillowSt.Neighbor

    Barbara Shernoff,
    I totally agree with you. Who was responsible for making sure that the rules were being followed? Those people should be ashamed.
    Now the kids are having to pay the price. As the parent of a child who had alot of anxiety when taking those sorts of tests, this makes me furious.

  • north heights res

    Homer: I’m a freelance writer who writes for magazines, newspapers, and websites. Does that put me in the news business?

    And yeah, I get that that this is a new model for “journalism,” but I still don’t like it.

  • Homer Fink

    Actually what Chuck did here is a classic write around. look at any local news site – post, news , NBC, CBS , Abc and they’ll all do it and most have far more resources than we do.

    this site is meant to encourage conversation amongst neighbors about what’s going on here. we do all the original reporting that we can.

  • Derek Jetah

    Bruce Dennis, Packer Head of School, bears responsibility for this debacle and still has not apologized to students, parents and the College Board.

    Numerous violations included lack of attentive proctoring, lack of ID checks, lack of random seating and too-close seating. I waltzed into the school that morning (to wait and see if my kid registered properly) and was surprised by the lack of security, the proctors casually waltzing in late and the general mess.

    Bruce should stop being so arrogant and admit that Packer screwed up — with an underqualified administrator running the testing, with a lack of adherence to CB rules, with a threatening attitude (“Packer is considering suing the College Board to have the tests reinstated.”) and with a loud mouth. He has more than negated all the positive PR from the recent NYT article.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the College Board reviewed past tests and decided to invalidate them also in light of Bruce’s “This is how we’ve always done it…” comments.