View Full Version : All NYC Test Service Says 7,000 NYC Private School Applicants Got Incorrect Scores

04-09-2011, 10:49 AM
This from N.Y. Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/09/nyregion/09tests.html?_r=3&ref=education) by Sarah Maslin Nir:

More than 7,000 students were incorrectly graded on the standardized test required for admission to most New York City private schools, the test company confirmed on Friday.

Parents were notified of the error Thursday night, two days after new scores were reported to schools — and several weeks after final decisions were made about admissions.

Parents of the students affected received notification of the error and the revised scores for the Independent School Entrance Exam in letters sent by same-day service from the Educational Records Bureau, known as the E.R.B., which administers the exam. In the letters, officials from the E.R.B. played down the importance of the test scores, saying they were just one of many components of applications that might include grade point average, essays and teacher recommendations.

It would be hard to determine how much the incorrect scores affected individual children or the group in terms of admissions. And now that most students have decided which school they will be attending, the re-issued scores are unlikely to have much impact.

“I’m apologetic and regret that it happened and apologize to the schools and their families” said David Clune, the president and chief executive of the E.R.B. “We try to be perfect, and we weren’t.”

He added, “It is a lesson we all learn at some point — that life isn’t fair.”

The five-part test, which covers reasoning, quantitative reasoning, reading comprehension and mathematics achievement and has an essay that is not graded, costs $89 to take. The fees for tests that were incorrectly scored will be reimbursed upon request, Mr. Clune said.

The letter to parents did not include any information about the scope of the error. But on Friday a company hired to speak for the E.R.B. said 41,363 students took the exam from September 2010 to March 2011. Of those, 17 percent were given incorrect scores — about 6,120 fourth- and fifth-grade students, and 890 students headed to high school. No students who took the midlevel exam were affected.

The mistake occurred because of an incorrect answer key used by Measurement Incorporated, a Durham, N.C., company hired by the E.R.B. to tabulate the scores. The employee who was responsible for the error resigned, according to the company that spoke on behalf of the E.R.B.

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