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College Board Sued Over AP Exams

May 21, 2020
 
 

Students whose Advanced Placement exams could not be submitted last week have filed a federal class action suit against the College Board. Many students last week could not submit their answers and were told that they would have to take a makeup exam next month. The suit seeks to force the College Board to score their answers. FairTest: The National Center for Fair & Open Testing joined the suit, which claims breach of contract, gross negligence, misrepresentation, unjust enrichment and violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act. Plaintiffs will seek “compensatory damages in an amount that exceeds $500 million” and “punitive damages in an amount sufficient to punish defendants” and “to deter them from engaging in wrongful conduct in the future.”

“The College Board rushed ‘untested’ AP computerized exams into the marketplace in order to preserve the testing company’s largest revenue-generating program after schools shut down this spring, even though they were warned about many potential access, technology and security problems,” said Robert Schaeffer, FairTest’s interim executive director. “Even if only 1 percent of test takers could not transmit their answers because the College Board’s technology was not ready for prime time, at least 20,000 students were affected.”

Peter Schwartz, the College Board's general counsel, issued a statement that said, "When the country shut down due to coronavirus, we surveyed AP students nationwide, and an overwhelming 91 percent reported a desire to take the AP exam at the end of the course. Within weeks, we redesigned the AP Exams so that they could be taken at home. Nearly 3 million AP Exams have been taken over the first seven days. Those students who were unable to successfully submit their exam can still take a makeup and have the opportunity to earn college credit. This lawsuit is a PR stunt masquerading as a legal complaint being manufactured by an opportunistic organization that prioritizes media coverage for itself. It is wrong factually and baseless legally; the College Board will vigorously and confidently defend against it, and expect to prevail."

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