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Packer ‘blindsided’ by further SAT lapses

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Cancellation of makeup test adds to student woes

Further lapses in test-taking procedure were cited by the College Board as justification for canceling the SAT test scores of nearly 200 students last week. The lapses were mentioned in an internal memo obtained by The New York Times.

Dr. Bruce L. Dennis, Packer Collegiate Institute’s head of school, told the Brooklyn Eagle last week that he believed the major procedural problem had been the failure to seat test-takers more than 4 feet apart at the May 5 test — and expressed unhappiness with the College Board’s failure to communicate directly with the school about the lapses.

Other problems mentioned in the internal memo included “inattentive” proctors who left exam booklets unattended for 15 minutes, the failure to check student IDs, and allowing students to choose where they sat. No accusations of cheating have been made, however.

Students from more than 50 schools across the city took the exam at Packer on May 5.

Adding to the chaos, the makeup test scheduled for this weekend in Coney Island was canceled at the last minute because of “logistical problems.”

Caught in a web of new rules, lax security

The College Board announced in late March tighter security regulations in response to a cheating ring on Long Island involving 15 high school students. The new regulations include checking of IDs when students enter the test site, any time they re-enter the room after a break, and at the end of the test. According to the College Board memo, students’ IDs were not rechecked at the Packer test after breaks.

Dr. Dennis said in a statement last Wednesday that Packer received an unannounced inspection from the College Board’s Office of Testing Integrity on the day of the test. During that visit the test site was found to be out of compliance with several requirements, “including one that requires students to be seated at least 4 feet from one another.”

Dr. Dennis also said that the auditor was aware of the problems on test day but said nothing to the school. The following Monday, a College Board representative phoned Packer’s site administrator “to advise her that these irregularities needed to be corrected before our June 2nd test date.” That June test has apparently been canceled at Packer until security procedures are tightened.

Dr. Dennis told the Times that he had not been told of the range of violations and was “blindsided” to learn of them during an interview on Friday night.

May 21, 2012 - 2:19pm


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