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San Diego Unified Taking College Board To Court Over AP Test Decision

Scripps Ranch High School students and parents protest outside a meeting of San Diego Unified and College Board officials, July 6, 2017.
Scripps Ranch High School students and parents protest outside a meeting of San Diego Unified and College Board officials, July 6, 2017.
San Diego Unified Taking College Board To Court Over AP Test Decision
San Diego Unified Taking College Board To Court Over AP Test Decision GUEST: Kevin Beiser, vice president, San Diego Unified School District Board of Education

The San Diego unified school board has a mess on their hands. Devolves advance placement that were apparently administered incorrectly at Scripps Ranch high school. The College Board has moved to invalidate the results of hundreds of those tests to go last week they decided on taking legal action starting with a lawsuit against the College Board. Joining me is Kevin Beiser vice president of San Diego unified school board of education. When this problem was made public you announced that the school board would not pursue legal action against the College Board. Here's your statement from June 30. After consulting with our legal department about request, we explore previous case law which is demonstrated that while other districts in the past had made efforts to file embargoes such actions have failed in the court. The school board did file a lawsuit on Friday against the College Board. What change your mind? First of all, our General Counsel continue to look into the situation and explore additional legal options. Secondly, I have been a firm advocate of trying to explore that option trying to find out how can we be unique from the other schools that are filed litigation. There's things that are really important. In our analysis we realize and recognize that the other schools were notified of the need to retest during the school year. It was very easy for the students to just retest the next week. We were notified several weeks after school was out when people were traveling abroad and already enrolled in summer courses at colleges. We believe there is harm their. How quickly is this lawsuit supposed to move forward? We filed the claim on Friday. One day after the board took action I called for a special meeting to discuss this to pursue action. Today we are in federal court right now as we speak filing temporary restraining order and then also calling for an expedited hearing. Our goal is to have a hearing with the ruling by Friday. Was part of the motivation of the board had anything to do with the students and parents that filed legal complaints against the district? Our decision to go forward against the College Board has nothing to do with that. It is understanding that there are 547 students that are not being accused of cheating. The students did nothing wrong. I'm very disappointed that the school did not administer the test properly following pop -- receding protocol. They overreacted and invalidated all the scores of students that they even admit did nothing wrong. You said that you feel this is a overreaction by the College Board and you just said that all of these students there was no evidence that they cheated, but there was a test proctor that saw some cheating. The school self-reported one irregularity. And this student was hindered at their efforts to cheat because of a partition, which is a wall so students can't see with the other person next to them is doing. The College Board changed that seating protocol. They recently has disallowed that partition. So the irony of the whole situation is that it's the partition that makes it harder to cheat. Do you have any idea why this eating mistake happened in the first place? We we are taking a look at what did they know and what did they not know. What we do know is that there was a document signed by the test administrator coordinator and the administration that clearly stated that they would follow preceding protocols which were articulated in greater detail. So we are concerned that those two adults sign the document and they did not follow those protocols. That is a great concern for us. So immediately after that they convened a meeting with all principals to make sure that we do a better job were redouble our efforts going forward to make sure that we are doing this with all other test. They hired an outside lawyer to file the suit which Mark -- how much will this cost? We are not sure on the exact number. We afford for these the we have a legal budget so the expenditures will not be out of alignment with our current budget and allocations. What was that number? I don't know if I'm at liberty to say because I don't want to give you the wrong number because as we look forward to further legal action and codefendants and things like that, I would hate to give your number that was an accurate. Let me ask you what the human cost of this mistake is? What do they mean to these the hundreds of students? That is why we are encouraging students to go forward with the retesting. Part of that process on thrilled that we have every single teacher that has volunteered to come in during the summer break and teach sessions and help them review the material before they take the retest and there is two Windows. The first window begins July 17 in the College Board had said that you can only have one retest window. Recognizing that we may have students that are overseas in Europe or Africa or Asia. I lobbied hard and we were granted a second testing window in August. What that means to the children is they have an opportunity to go and get a test score in the event that we are not successful with our legal action. I've been speaking with Kevin Beiser. Thank you so much. Thank you. Coming up what we can learn from other California agencies about reforming SANDAG. It is 12:25 PM and you are listening to KPBS Midday Edition.

UPDATE: 9:45 a.m., July 7, 2017

The San Diego Unified School Board voted Thursday to file a temporary restraining order on a College Board decision to invalidate hundreds of Advanced Placement exams at Scripps Ranch High School. The legal action seeks to have the test scores released, but the district is still urging students to sign up for retests.

Read the original story below.


Representatives of San Diego Unified and the College Board met Thursday morning to plan for retakes of some 800 Advanced Placement exams at Scripps Ranch High School. If school board Vice President Kevin Beiser has his way, they will meet again soon in court.

Trustees are holding a special, closed-session meeting Thursday evening to consider whether to file a legal challenge against the College Board’s decision to invalidate the tests because students were seated too close together.

RELATED: How A Distance Of Two Feet Invalidated 500 AP Tests At Scripps Ranch High

The news 540 students would have to retake their tests because of the error has caused an uproar in the affluent San Diego suburb. Residents there say invalidating the tests is an overreaction.

Beiser said he believes the district can make that case in court.


“There is past precedence of the College Board not invalidating scores when there have been testing discrepancies,” he said. “Most recently in 2015, when some students were given more time, the College Board did not invalidate their score and make them retake the assessment.”

A printing error caused thousands of test-takers to spend five extra minutes on one section of the test, according to reports. The College Board opted not to score the section in question, saying the others were enough to grade the students.

The district’s legal team had previously advised the board not to pursue legal action. At a June 30 press conference, district representatives said they could not find a similar case in which a school district prevailed against the College Board.

In the printing error incident Beiser cited, the College Board made its decision on its own and was not challenged in court.

The school board had attorney William Low on hand at a lengthy and heated town hall meeting Wednesday. Thursday morning, students and parents protested outside a meeting in which district and College Board officials discussed retest plans.

As things stand now, the retests are planned for later this month and next month.

San Diego Unified Taking College Board To Court Over AP Test Decision
The College Board has decided to invalidate some 800 Advanced Placement tests taken at Scripps Ranch High School because students were seated too close together.