ACT Mishap Forcing Hundreds of Students in East Tennessee to Retake Test

More than 400 students at a Knoxville high school are being asked to retake the ACT because of a testing mishap last month, reports WBIR Channel 10.

Bearden High School administered the test Oct. 17 with test booklets it received intended for Oct. 3. ACT has not responded to questions about how the incorrect materials were sent to the school, but says it can’t validate the scores because of the “misadministration” and the theoretical possibility that students could have received test answers from others. Students have been directed to retake the test Dec. 9.

Students are worried about missing deadlines for college admissions and scholarships. A handful of students received their scores from ACT, only to have them pulled by the testing company.

In Tennessee, all juniors are to take the ACT, with retakes being offered in the fall of students’ senior year.

The Knox County PTA and Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett have tried unsuccessfully to fight ACT’s decision not to certify the scores from Oct. 17. Candice McQueen, the state commissioner of education, submitted an appeal but it was denied. Others at the state level have also been notified of the situation.

Lt. Gov. Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge) told WBIR that if the situation is not resolved, “we can look at evaluating the state’s position as far as the ACT company is concerned.” McNally said it may be time to switch to the SAT test “if the ACT is not performing up to our standards.”

Another East Tennessee school, the Alvin C. York Institute in Jamestown, said it is experiencing the same problem. Superintendent Phil Brannon did not say how many students were affected. He said staff noticed the date discrepancy but ACT said to go ahead with the test.

In an earlier mishap in April, ACT withheld scores for schools in Tennessee and Ohio but later released them.


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image of frustrated student by CollegeDegrees360 on Flickr


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