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WVUSD Requests Additional Accommodations from ETS

NEWS                                                               Walnut Valley Unified School District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                        880 S. Lemon Avenue
July 15, 2011                                                  Walnut, CA 91789

Kelli Gile, Office of Community Resources
(909) 595-1261 ext. 31204

WVUSD Requests Additional Accommodations from ETS

Coming Together
District Works with Walnut High Families in Response to AP Test Concerns

WALNUT, CA—The recent decision by ETS not to report certain AP Exams administered in May 2011 has caused great difficulty for Walnut High School, teachers, students, and parents.

Walnut Valley Unified School District is working with Walnut High School principal, parents, and students to provide needed accommodations for students who will be retaking AP examinations. 

The Walnut Valley Unified School District and Board of Trustees are dedicated to supporting Walnut High School during this unfortunate incident and have issued a letter to ETS in response to the concerns of Walnut High School parents and students.

“We are here to support our Walnut High families and want them to know that we are doing everything within our power,” said Board President Cindy Ruiz.

WVUSD has conferred with District attorneys and on July 15 Superintendent Dr. Dean Conklin sent a written request for additional information and specific requests on behalf of students at Walnut High School. 

The purpose of the letter requested, on an expedited basis, additional measures aimed at facilitating the efforts of students to retake AP Exams and to obtain additional information to assist with the ongoing investigation.

Since June 30, when ETS notified Walnut High School that the tests would not be scored, Principal Jeff Jordan has worked diligently with ETS to arrange alternate test dates, and provide refunds.

On July 11, Walnut High School conducted a public meeting attended by over 600 students and parents. At that meeting, Jordan provided a clear explanation of the circumstances, including theft of test booklets and ETS’ decision not to report test results.

Parents and students were also advised of the steps ETS was willing to make in connection with retesting and the support Walnut High School and the WVUSD will be providing in preparation for the retesting of the five AP Exams in question.

“Mr. Jordan addressed the concerns and explained how the school will continue to support students including teachers’ availability, books, and tutoring,” Ruiz said.

While we anticipate many Walnut High School students will be able to retake tests on the already-scheduled alternate dates, a significant number of students cannot make those dates for reasons, including, but not limited to, prearranged plans to spend the summer abroad.

Parents and students also shared their concerns about the situation at the July 13 Board of Trustees meeting.

That evening, the Board of Trustees directed Superintendent Dr. Dean Conklin to work with the District’s attorney to address the concerns, and a letter was mailed to ETS on July 15. 

“The District received a number of specific requests from students and parents. We believe many of these requests are reasonable and have urged ETS to adopt them on an expedited basis,” said Superintendent Conklin.

Some of the requests are stated below:

  • Expedited scoring available no later than fourteen (14) days following the date of test administration.
  • Have ETS send an official letter to all students affected, which they can forward to universities.  The letter should explain the situation, address concerns universities may have, indicate that any administrative irregularities were not the result of the behavior of the specific student test taker, and provide a point of contact with ETS for universities with further questions.
  • Identify additional test dates for students with prior commitments during the already-scheduled alternate dates.
The District, WHS, parents, and students are understandably upset and we believe some may be inclined to pursue litigation against ETS, with that in mind, our goal is that ETS will respond to our requests and assist in providing a positive outcome for all.

“While the District, Walnut High School, parents and students are victims here - it is the students that are paying the biggest price. It is my hope that the person or persons who committed the crime will come forward in order for the investigation to come to a close and that the original tests can be scored,” Ruiz added. 

The district is also supporting Walnut High School with increased security measures that include installation of additional cameras as well as other measures that will not be disclosed for security reasons.

While the District continues to support the ongoing the investigation we hope that:

Anyone with information that will lead to finding the perpetrator(s) please call We TIP at 1-800-78-CRIME for a possible reward up to $5,000.