state board of education waiver student testing

At a special called meeting Tuesday, The Moore County Board of Education heard a report on the recent incident at Pinecrest High School concerning lost ACT answer sheets and offered assurances that corrective action has been taken.

The ACT is offered to all juniors as part of the North Carolina Department Accountability Project. Most colleges require either the SAT or ACT, and recently many students have been submitting scores from both tests when they apply. The ACT is administrated by a third-party vendor, with the school district providing testing coordinators, who are trained by the test administrator. The cost of the initial test is covered by the state.

The timeline, as presented to the school board, is as follows:

On February 20, (with a makeup date of March 13) a total of 440 students took the test. Typically test results are sent to the student by ACT in approximately eight weeks from the test day.

On May 20, a parent contacted Pinecrest High School about receiving the test results.

On June 3, Pinecrest was informed the student did not have a score, with a promise from ACT to follow up.

On June 11, it was reported that ACT had not received the answer sheets, nor was the Fed Ex label scanned. At this point, Pinecrest High School launched a full internal investigation. That investigation concluded the answer sheets were collected correctly but were never shipped.

An exhaustive search of the school followed, but the sheets were not located. It was determined that one employee was responsible, and swift action was taken.

On June 18, the school board and parents were informed. The parents and students were notified by phone, email, and a letter emailed to the students’ homes.

On June 22, the matter was referred to law enforcement, but no criminal intent was found.

Privacy laws prevent the school district from specifying what personnel action they took.

Currently, the plan is to offer a retest this fall with Moore County School absorbing the approximately $30,000 cost.

Speaking to the board, Dr. Tim Locklair, Chief Officer for Academics and Student Support Services, stated that the primary mission is to take care of each impacted student. “We recognize this undermines confidence in the school system. We are determined to regain that confidence.”

The school district is evaluating all of the test procedures and is considering offering online testing in the future. That evaluation is ongoing with recommendations expected to be presented to the board over the summer months.

Board Chairman Helena Wallin-Miller concluded the meeting by saying, “This never should have happened and will never happen because of the new procedures we are putting in place.”

~Written by Sandhills Sentinel Local News/Government Reporter Chris Prentice.           Sandhills_Sentinel
Contact him at [email protected] or (910) 639-9303.


To read Sandhills Sentinel’s original article of the lost ACT scores, please click on below link.

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