200+ Manatee High School students learn AP English exams are void

If they want the college credit, they need to retake the test this summer

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA)— It’s every student’s nightmare!

Summer has been ruined for 249 Manatee high school students who just learned their AP English exams are void and they must retake the test.

The school district notified the students and their families of the news on Wednesday, saying they’re extremely apologetic and the incident was a terrible mistake.

One of the students, Jazmin Riley is about to enter her senior year at school.  She studied hard in hopes to earn college credit in her AP English class, but she just learned her exam is void and she won’t be able to earn the credits unless she takes the test again!

“It’s very annoying because personally I have had a lot of trips planned and I’m not going to be able to do that if I have to sit around and study for this new test,” said Riley.

Riley is not alone.  Hundreds of other students just learned their scores won’t count. Here’s the problem—a former teacher at the school supervised the testing, and that teacher was not qualified to be there.

Principal Don Sauer explained that a proctor is there to watch over the students while they take the test.   A former instructor who had experience administering these exams was also present to watch over the proctors. College Board, the nonprofit which administers the exam, says that teacher was not qualified to be there, and therefore the exams are void.

“We thought we were ok because we were supervising proctors and it was a mistake,” said Sauer.

Sauer appealed to College Board, but his appeal was turned down.   The students must retake the test on June 29th to receive college credit.

“I’m just devastated for our students and for our staff and for our community that this has happened,” said Sauer.

The school’s mishap makes Riley feel frustrated, and she’s worried about her performance on the new exam.

“We’re not sitting around and focusing on school right now we’re focusing on things like work and going to the beach and hanging out with friends, not really focusing on our bookwork right now,” she said.

“Next year, to prevent something like this, they should definitely try to prepare more and try to double check everything, triple check,” Riley added.

The school district is aware that the retest date conflicts with many students’ schedules, so they’re working hard to figure out an additional testing day to help them out.

A spokesman for College Board released this statement:

‘We are committed to ensuring the integrity of each administration and to delivering valid, reliable AP scores to students, high schools, and colleges and universities. Following testing policies and procedures is essential to ensuring a fair and standard testing experience for all students. We have worked with school officials at Manatee High School to schedule a makeup administration for affected test takers. We thank students and families for their patience and understanding.”

Manatee County school officials say it’s completely optional if these students want to take the test again. The retest will be given on June 29 and there will be some exam prep sessions held from June 26-28.

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