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.