Lawsuit Filed In Mills High Spat Over Invalidated AP Tests

San Mateo school officials sue College Board and ETS.

By Chris Roberts
|  Friday, Aug 9, 2013  |  Updated 9:55 AM PDT
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School Lunches Never Tasted So Good

NBC Bay Area

Important test scores have been thrown out for hundreds of Advanced Placement students on the Peninsula.

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They signed up for college-level courses and are now getting an adult-level lesson in jurisprudence.

The Mills High students whose Advanced Placement exam scores were canceled after the College Board decided they'd broken testing rules filed suit as promised on Monday.

The Educational Testing Service -- or ETS, which applies rules around testing such as the exams that follow a rigorous AP course -- invalidated 634 tests in July after it determined that the school "violated ETS rules governing where students may sit while taking the exams," the Bay Area News Group reported.

The lawsuits were filed on behalf of the students and the San Mateo Union High School District against the ETS and the College Board. The plaintiffs want a court order compelling the testing agencies to score the exams and to report the scores to the colleges and universities where the Mills students are enrolled -- and currently not receiving college credit for the college classes they took, the newspaper reported.

The school district admits that it broke some rules: AP guidelines state that all students must face the same direction. The school district adminstered tests with some students facing each other at square or circular tables during the May test, the newspaper reported.

Prior to the lawsuit, ETS offered the students free retests Aug. 9-19, but many students declined, saying their notes had been thrown away or that they would not have enough time to prepare, the newspaper reported.

The students also maintain that there is no evidence that any of them cheated, and that canceling the test results for seating violations is too "draconian" a punishment, the newspaper reported.

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