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Local: Education

High school keeps AP scores after cellphone video

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Local,Maryland,Education,Rachel Baye,Montgomery County

Students at Quince Orchard High School in Gaithersburg will get to keep their Advance Placement psychology exam scores, despite one student shooting a cellphone video at the testing site just before the exam started, officials said Tuesday.

The video, which was posted to Twitter on May 6, showed students preparing to start the exam, a No. 2 pencil, a blank answer sheet and something in plastic wrap that might have been the test, said Principal Carole Working. It did not show the test material.

The student has removed the video since posting it, said Working.

The College Board, which runs the AP program, and the Educational Testing Service, which administers the exams, prohibit the use of cellphones at testing centers. Using a cellphone at a testing site can invalidate the scores of all students who took the exam at that time, or even all the scores at a school.

In this case, however, the test operators have said the students who were not involved with the video will get to keep their scores.

"College Board and ETS have determined that the incident with the cellphone video will not impact any other test takers at the school," said ETS spokesman Tom Ewing.

Citing confidentiality concerns, Ewing would not say whether the student who shot the video would have her test invalidated. "Published rules though indicate use of a cellphone in a testing center is grounds for dismissal and score cancellation. I can't say more than that."

Neither the school nor school officials will face repercussions from the testing service, he added.

Montgomery County Public Schools spokesman Dana Tofig attributed the positive outcome to the fact that the proper procedures were followed after the video was discovered. Some of the 275 students who took the exam reported the video to school officials, who in turn reported it to The College Board.

The school does not plan to discipline anyone, including the student who shot the video, as a result of the incident, since the cellphone did not violate any school rules. "She's had a pretty tough week," Working said of the student who posted the video.

There are also no plans to bolster security around testing situations or issue more reminders about rules regarding cellphones in AP exams since the rules are very clear, said Working.

rbaye@washingtonexaminer.com

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