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Fed Ex at a Loss Over Losing 695 College Exams

July 17, 1999

TORRANCE — Federal Express is trying to figure out how to compensate 695 high school students after losing their college entrance exams, but the teenagers say nothing the courier does will compensate them for the time they invested in preparing for the test.

"They really leave me no option," Jessica Fleming, a 17-year-old Torrance High School junior, said of having to retake the test. "Everybody has to have the SAT for colleges and stuff. I have to take it."

She and other students from schools in Torrance and neighboring Gardena took the SAT on June 5. But all the exams disappeared between the Gardena High School test site and the New Jersey headquarters of the Educational Testing Service, which conducts and scores the tests nationwide.

Carla Boyd, spokeswoman for Federal Express, said a test administrator brought in the package of SATs to a local depot "but that's the last anyone has seen of it."

The package never cleared a scanning device and officials were unable to track its location. The company ships 3 million packages a day, and workers scan each one an average of 24 times.

"Every time a package moves or changes hands, it's scanned," Boyd said. "We're looking at all the possible things that could have happened. We will review this."

Boyd said the company is considering ways to compensate the students.

Education a Testing Service has scheduled the students to retake the test July 24 and Aug. 7 for free. But the students say that won't replace the hours of studying and tutoring they did preparing for the first test.

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