Hundreds More AP Test Scores Reported Missing

By Valerie Strauss
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, September 2, 2006

The company that administers Advanced Placement exams said yesterday that more test results than previously disclosed were lost and for the first time blamed computer glitches for part of the problem.

Score sheets for portions of at least 1,500 exams taken in May around the world were discovered missing, said Tom Ewing, spokesman for the Educational Testing Service. Last month, Ewing had said that a few hundred had gone astray. Students from England, Israel, Canada and the United States have reported missing test scores.

In addition, Ewing said that about 2,700 scores for the Praxis teacher licensing examinations taken in the United States in June had been delayed or misplaced but that most have been found. States use Praxis results as part of their teacher licensing certification process.

For AP and Praxis tests, the writing sections were misplaced, parents and school administrators said.

Some of the problems with the lost AP scores resulted because of computer problems in May and June with tracking and processing tests, Ewing said. Officials at ETS, which develops and scores AP tests for the nonprofit College Board, are trying to figure out what happened, he said.

The organization issued a statement on the Praxis Web site saying that it regretted the inconvenience of the lost tests and offered to assist test-takers who needed their scores to start jobs in the fall.

Students around the world have been struggling with how to handle the lost tests, with options including taking tests again or seeking a refund, and some school administrators and parents have said that they are not satisfied with the testing service's effort to help them.

Laura King of Aurora, Colo., said she spent many hours on the phone with ETS officials about her daughter's lost AP test score, and she said some of them seemed to be uninformed about how to handle the situation. Her daughter, a student at Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora, took three AP exams but received scores for only two of them.

Vicki Hobel Schultz in Mountain View, Calif., said her daughter's free response section of a calculus AP test was lost, and she said it could affect college admissions and math classes that her daughter might take at a community college.

"Why did they wait until the end of August to tell students?" she asked.

Ewing said that ETS understands the frustration of parents who are trying to resolve their children's lost tests but said that each case is labor-intensive. He said 45 schools did not return any answer sheets, but it was not clear how many tests that represented.

ETS used to administer the College's Board's SAT 1 exams but lost the contract to Pearson Educational Measurement. Earlier this year, Pearson sent more than 4,000 students incorrectly low SAT scores, and more than 600 received better scores than they had earned.

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