Following a string of thefts from Walnut High School back in May, officials are now saying that about 466 students who took Advanced Placement tests in chemistry, environmental science, calculus AB, english language and United States history will have their scores canceled after AP test booklets from the school were stolen.
The school’s principal said in a statement to parents Wednesday that one test booklet from each of the three classes was initially reported missing, although ETS gave the school permission to move forward with the testing saying the error was caused by a shipping mistake. After the school put new door locks on its testing room for the May 18th test, other test booklets for the U.S. history and english language exams were also discovered missing at which point school principal Jeff Jordan said, “it was clear that there had been a theft of materials”.
Even after the second incident, an unsuccessful attempt to access the testing materials room was made on May 24th, when someone tried to cut a whole through the school’s roof after hours to gain access to testing materials. After that incident, ETS told the school it would not give students their scores from the five subjects which had testing booklets taken.
The Advanced Placement Program gives students an opportunity to take college-level classes in high school, and then take a test in May, administered by The College Board and the Educational Testing Service, which allows them to demonstrate their comprehension of that classes’ material in order to gain college credit, depending on their scores. The AP Program’s Exam Security policies say that students’ scores may be canceled if there is “substantial evidence that they are invalid for any reason”. Jordan also said that despite the issues posed to students, the College Board is being “really fair” about the issue.
School board president Cindy Ruiz told Walnut Patch, “You’re saddened for all of the students, with all of the time and energy they put into it. And you have to say ‘it doesn’t count.’”
Plans are being made to allow the students to retake the test in August, although those who do not wish to do so can get a refund of all testing fees. A parent meeting will also be held Monday at the school’s gymnasium, located at 400 North Pierre Road in Walnut.
Officials from the Sheriff’s Department, as well as the school district, are carefully investigating how this incident happened and a $2,500 reward is being offered for tips on who stole the test booklets. If you know anything about this case, Sheriff’s Officials urge you to call (800) 78-CRIME.