San Diego

Cheating Student Led to AP Exam Investigation at Scripps Ranch HS: Superintendent

A cheating student sparked the investigation leading to Advanced Placement test scores being thrown out at Scripps Ranch High School, according to school district officials.

More than 540 students must retake the exam if they want college credit. The scores were invalidated on June 28 by the College Board and its test administrator Educational Testing Services.

The student accused of cheating was apparently leaning back from his desk and reportedly looking at someone else's test, according to Cindy Marten, Superintendent of San Diego Unified School District.

“That student was taken out of the testing situation so there are no scores for that student,” explained Marten.

“The 547 students we're talking about, specifically, there was no incident of cheating on those scores,” said Marten who noted there was just the one allegation of cheating.

A counselor giving the test self-reported the wrongdoing sparking the College Board to investigate.

NBC 7 first reported the investigation began when the College Board received a seating chart after the AP exams were conducted.

While only one student is accused of cheating -- the board found issues with certain testing regulations: the size of the tables, the seating chart and privacy partitions separating the students.

According to the College Board, those seating rules are in place to make sure no student gains an unfair advantage.

AP students aren’t happy their scores were invalidated.

“It’s hard to know that they told us to have integrity and not cheat, but we have to deal with their irresponsibility,” exclaimed Scripps Ranch High School junior Katrina Marie who has to retake her AP exams.

"They should definitely pay for what they did,” said Analicia Uribe, another Scripps Ranch HS student who’ll have to retake the test. “It was their fault and we had nothing to do with it.”

The principal and an AP coordinator responsible for following the testing rules announced their retirements before the tests, according to Superintendent Cindy Marten.

Marten says they're looking at what type of disciplinary action can be taken against them even though they've retired.

Marten will meet Thursday with the College Board to talk about how to proceed. In the afternoon, she'll meet with the school board and attorneys to talk about legal options.

Despite pleas from parents, it appears the results will remain invalidated.

Students have to register to re-take the tests by this Friday. Here’s a link for additional information. 

The voided AP exams could have big consequences for students who aren't staying in San Diego this summer and won't be available to retake the exams. It's especially significant for seniors who already planned their first semester of college feeling confident with their prior test performance.

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