Lt. Governor Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge) went public on Monday with a letter he sent to Tennessee Comptroller Justin Wilson on December 7, calling on him to open an investigation in college aptitude testing firm ACT, Inc.
An organization that is willing to sacrifice young people’s future over a bureaucratic error is not an organization Tennessee can trust. It is important that Tennessee parents and students have as much information as possible on the operations of ACT, Inc.
At issue is the ongoing debacle surrounding a batch of test scores due to hundreds of students who are relying on the firm’s results to complete their college entry requirements.
As The Tennessee Star reported last month, 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 “mis-administration” and the theoretical possibility that students could have received test answers from others. Students have been directed to retake the test Dec. 9.
“It’s disappointing. Definitively frustrating,” Bearden senior Leah Crowley told WBIR News. Crowley was one of the students who initially received a score, before the company revoked it.
Both ACT, Inc. and Tennessee State officials characterize the problem as “minor” and “bureaucratic” – yet to date, the company has refused to release any test score to some 409 students, rejecting an appeal.
“McNally asks the Comptroller Justin Wilson to look into the ACT’s non-profit status to see if ACT is funneling profits into bonuses and salaries for their executives to maintain their non-profit status. McNally also questions whether the ACT selling information about students taking the ACT violates federal or state privacy laws,” WATE reported.
“I would respectfully request that your office conduct an investigation into the non-profit organization ACT, Inc. As you may know, ACT, Inc. recently invalidated the scores of Tennessee high school at Bearden High School in Knoxville and Alvin C. York Institute in Jamestown due to a minor bureaucratic error,” McNally reportedly wrote in a letter to the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury.
“The organization’s refusal to even entertain the release of these important college admissions scores has led me and other state officials to question the integrity of the organization. Due to the fact state dollars have been appropriated to administer the ACT test in Tennessee, I believe your office would be the appropriate investigatory authority,” he added.