Education A National Roundup

Lawsuit Over SAT Mistakes Planned Against College Board

By Alyson Klein — April 18, 2006 1 min read

A New York high school student who received a lower score on the SAT because of errors in grading the October 2005 test plans to sue the College Board, the sponsor of the exam, and Pearson Educational Measurement, the company that scored it, lawyers say.

The student is represented by three Minnesota-based law firms, which are pursuing a class action on behalf of all students who took the college-entrance test last October. The firms, Larson King, Zimmerman Reed, and McSweeny & Fay, have already successfully settled in a case against Pearson involving incorrect scoring on a Minnesota state test

Lawyers from the firms, who said they planned to file the suit in Hennepin County District Court in Minneapolis, contend that the incorrect scoring amounted to negligence and a breach of contract, since the students took the test with the understanding that it would be scored accurately. They are planning to ask the College Board to refund registration fees for all students who took that month’s exam, since the SAT is partially scored on a curve, and incorrect scoring could affect all test-takers, according to Gordon Rudd, a lawyer for Zimmerman Reed. In addition, the lawyers plan to request unspecified damages for all 4,000 students whose tests were scored inaccurately low, Mr. Rudd said.

Brian P. O’Reilly, a spokesman for the College Board, a New York City-based nonprofit group, said the organization may revisit its policies regarding how it handles inaccurate scores.

However, officials from the College Board and Pearson, a for-profit company based in Iowa City, Iowa, declined to comment on the planned lawsuit.