Published July 11, 2006
ALBANY, N.Y. – A New York state senator has subpoenaed executives of the College Board over their refusal to release a report on scoring errors in the SAT college entrance exam.
More than 4,400 high school students nationwide received incorrectly low scores on the SAT exam they took in October because of a computer scanning glitch blamed on excessive moisture on answer sheets due to wet weather.
Sen. Kenneth LaValle, a Long Island Republican and chairman of the state Senate Higher Education Committee, wants the College Board to disclose what is in the report. His committee questioned College Board executives in May as it sought to require the nonprofit association, which owns the exam, to detect and report errors faster so students aren't left with inaccurate scores.
LaValle's subpoena, delivered Monday, cites New York's "truth in testing law," which he said requires even preliminary reports to be released to the Legislature. He scheduled a July 14 hearing for College Board President Gaston Caperton to testify.
The subpoena is "an important step to stop the College Board cover-up of SAT scoring errors," said Bob Schaeffer of the National Center for Fair and Open Testing. "Test takers, policy makers and the public have a right to know how this error occurred and why."
The College Board, based in New York City, has said its report of recent problems in SAT scoring isn't final and is exempt from the state law.
Board spokeswoman Caren Scoropanos said Tuesday that the board had just received the subpoena couldn't comment until reviewing it.
Caperton said earlier this year that the tests are closely monitored at all stages and new measures have been adopted to prevent errors.
The scoring problem forced many colleges to reopen admissions files just as they were trying to make final decisions. The College Board reported 83 percent of the incorrect scores were off by 40 points or less on the 2,400-point exam. One score was off by 450 points.
The College Board administered 9 million college entrance exams last year, collecting $500 million in revenue.