Less than two weeks after admitting that it gave the wrong scores to 4,000 students who took the SAT in October, the College Board revealed last week that another 375 students had received lower scores in error.
College Board officials said their test-scoring company, Pearson Educational Measurement, informed them over the weekend of March 18 that 27,000 of the original 495,000 tests administered in October were not rechecked for errors. When the tests were rechecked, 375 more students were found to have received lower scores.
According to Pearson, the errors could be related to abnormally high moisture content, perhaps as a result of the weather, which caused the answer sheets to expand. (“SAT Glitches Prompt Broader Testing Worries,” March 22, 2006.)
In a statement, College Board President Gaston Caperton said that “drawing on the lessons of this experience,” the New York City-based board would make a number of policy and procedural changes.
Those steps will include scanning each answer sheet twice and improving the software to address such problems as the expansion of answer sheets because of humidity.
The College Board has also hired Booz Allen Hamilton, a McLean, Va.-based strategy and technology consulting firm, to conduct a “comprehensive review, with particular emphasis on the scanning process.” The firm’s recommendations are expected within 90 days.
A version of this article appeared in the March 29, 2006 edition of Education Week