Scandal in San Diego

Scandal rocks San Diego Unified as a federal judge upheld a ruling that invalidates AP score for hundreds of Scripps Ranch High School students.More than 500 Scripps Ranch High School students will have to retake their Advance Placement (AP) exams after a federal judge had ruled their scores were invalid. A lawsuit that resulted from an incident report filed by a test proctor who suspected a student of cheating led to an investigation by College Board. The investigation found that students were seated too close to each other; this prompted College Board to invalidate the scores of 844 tests on nine subjects without cause.

The resulting lawsuit seeking to overturn the ruling alleged the decision by College Board was a breach of contract and caused financial strain on students, many of whom had already left school for the summer, some beginning their college careers.

“We were told where to sit, it was not our choice,” said Marissa Barnes, an incoming senior at Scripps Ranch High School. “Now because of that, we have to suffer.”

The College Board says the district failed to meet the requirements for distance between students taking AP tests. Instead, the district chose to use partitions, which are prohibited. Subsequently, those test scores were invalidated; that decision was upheld in federal court.

“When a high school does not comply with the College Board’s test administration requirements, an indeterminate number of students can gain an unfair advantage,” said Carayo, in a statement. “For that reason, while we take the decision to cancel scores very seriously, there is no alternative in such situations.”

SDUSD states there was no evidence of cheating, but stands by College Board's right to invalidate the test scores. The district will offer free retests in late July and August and refunds for students who choose not to retake tests. The impact on this ruling might not be felt for some years, but could certainly have a terrible effect on the college careers of many Scripps Ranch students.