In recent weeks, the College Board, sponsors of the SAT, has admitted to mishandling the scoring of thousands of college placement tests. Angry parents -- and their lawyers -- are demanding answers.
Last October, nearly half a million college-bound students took the SAT. Among them was Jake DeLillo, a high school senior in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., who was hoping a good score, coupled with his lacrosse skills, would land him at Penn or another choice school.
Exactly why thousands of students who took the test last October received the wrong scores is not entirely clear. But DeLillo's score was listed at 1428 out of a possible total of 2400. Schools that had recruited him backed off, promising to talk if his scores went up.
Four months later, DeLillo learned the College Board had sent the wrong score to the colleges, under-reporting his results by 170 points.
Gaston Caperton, president of the College Board, says the scanners used to check the bubble answers on the SAT misread a large batch of answer sheets that had somehow expanded because they were damp. He said an investigation is under way.
For many high school seniors, the mistakes have made an already stressful process intolerable. More than 4,400 students received lower scores than they should have. And some 600 got higher scores than they deserved.
This fall, DeLillo plans to attend New York Tech, one of his back-up schools, where he wants to major in business or behavioral science, and play on the school's lacrosse team.
The DeLillo family hasn't decided if they will sue the College Board on their own, or join any other law suits against the organization. But the New York Senate's Higher Education Committee has asked Jake to testify at a hearing next month.