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College Board to waive fee for students who want to retake SAT after testing controversy

The College Board has decided to waive the fee for any high school student nationwide who wants to retake the SAT in October because the test offered June 6 had irregularities.

The board announced the change late Monday on its website, just hours after a Long Island student filed a federal lawsuit seeking a refund of the filing fee and unspecified monetary damages.

The Nassau-Suffolk School Boards Association welcomed the latest move in the testing controversy.

"It was the least they could do given how critical these test scores are to the future of our students," Lorraine Deller, executive director of the association, said Tuesday.

The testing booklet for the June exam said students had 25 minutes to finish one section, but proctors told them they had 20 minutes.

The College Board blamed a printing error, and said it would discard two sections of the 10-section test. About 450,000 high school juniors nationwide had registered for the June 6 test.

The College Board said the test was designed so that if any section was compromised because of a fire drill or unexpected issue at a test site, the scoring from other sections would still yield an accurate overall assessment.

"We remain confident in the reliability of scores from the June 6 administration of the SAT and don't want to cause undue anxiety for students by making them believe they need to sit for the test again," the College Board said in a statement.

"However, we have waived the fee for the October SAT administration for students who let us know that their testing experience was negatively affected by the printing error and we will continue to do so," the statement read.

Attorneys for a Nassau County high school student who expects to graduate next year, Julia Ellinghaus, filed a lawsuit Monday in U.S. District Court in Central Islip seeking a return of her filing fee and unspecified monetary damages.

The attorneys, who did not return calls for comment Tuesday, asked the lawsuit be certified as a class action to include all students who took the test. The court papers said students pay almost $100 in fees and charges to take the test.

"We have received a preliminary petition from an attorney representing one student. We will not be commenting further on potential or pending litigation," College Board spokesman Zach Goldberg said in an email.

Two high school juniors from Poughkeepsie last week started a petition on the website to demand that students be allowed to retake the test for free. It had 798 signatures by late Tuesday.


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