Settlement Offers Nearly $3M to Wronged SAT Takers
Aug 25 (AP): More than 4,400 students who received incorrect scores on a 2005 SAT
exams are being offered a share of a $2.85 million proposed settlement announced
Friday by parties in the federal class-action lawsuit.
The payout by the
not-for-profit College Board and test scoring company NCS Pearson Inc. would
give the wronged test takers a minimum of $275. The settlement needs
ratification by Judge Joan Ericksen during a hearing scheduled for Nov.
"We were eager to put this behind us and focus on the future," said
Edna Johnson, a spokeswoman for the College Board, which administers the
NCS spokesman Dave Hakensen said the company declined
In all, 4,411 students got incorrectly low scores and more than
600 had better results than they deserved on the October 2005 test. Test-takers
who were scored too low later had their results corrected.
a St. Paul attorney who represents some students, said lawyers wanted to make
sure everyone who had an incorrectly low score got something.
who submit a short claim form will get the $275. Those that felt they were
harmed more or wound up paying for tutoring because of the error can ask a
retired judge for a higher amount. There is also the option for people to file
their own lawsuits and not take part in the settlement.
The fee for the
SAT in October 2005 was $41.50.
If there is unclaimed money at the end of
the settlement period, the leftovers will go to charity.
"This case won't
end some of the problems that we've seen in the testing industry," Snodgrass
said. "But so long as these types of cases are brought, the testing industry, we
believe, is becoming more responsible."
Bob Schaeffer, an SAT critic and
public education director of the group FairTest, said the settlement is a
significant admission by the College Board and NCS Pearson.
"This case is
an important reminder that tests are imperfect products that should not be
relied upon to make high-stakes judgments about students, teachers or the
quality of education," Schaeffer said in a news release.
After the error
surfaced, the College Board implemented new quality control requirements.
Johnson said all answer sheets now must be scanned twice, on different days and
using different machines. Completed tests are also kept in a setting that avoids
excessive humidity because unusual moisture apparently contributed to the error,
The SAT is taken by more than 2 million students and used by
many colleges as a factor in selecting students. The 2,400-point exam measures
reasoning skills in reading, writing and math.
The 2005 scoring error
affected less than 1 percent of the results during that batch of
In 2002, Pearson settled a lawsuit in a Minnesota state test
error that affected more than 8,000 students, some of whom missed their
graduation ceremonies after being told they failed a state-required exam.
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|Updated: Tuesday, 13 Nov|