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What's the answer at Trabuco?

August 02, 2008

Re "Trouble at Trabuco," editorial, July 25

The Advanced Placement students who had their test scores discarded despite no evidence of cheating tried repeatedly to get the Educational Testing Service to grade their tests and count their scores. When the ETS refused to consider the students' request, they had no choice but to file a lawsuit.

This is not about "whininess" as The Times editorial stated, but about justice.

With the start of school less than a month away, students have no choice but to sign up for classes they otherwise may have been exempt from had their test scores counted.

Naturally, the students are upset with the school district for not adhering to every testing protocol, but the ETS could easily compare these scores with scores from previous years and determine whether there is an anomaly. The ETS' approach is similar to having the police arrest everyone in a store because two or three people were caught shoplifting. Those who kept their heads down and worked hard are certainly being penalized unjustly.

Luckily in America, the law says we are innocent until proved guilty. We remain hopeful that a judge will agree to allow the hardworking students to keep the scores they've earned.

Neil Blais

Mayor

Rancho Santa Margarita

As an AP teacher in the Inland Empire, I was struck by the test-takers admonishing the ETS for its lack of "common sense" in handling the recent AP testing debacle at Trabuco Hills High School.

What common sense tells me is that although most of the students probably did not cheat, 10 have admitted doing so. Although it is regrettable that all students must retake the exam, and although their anger is justifiable, they are ignoring the real issue: Testing security was breached.

The administration at Trabuco Hills High School is responsible for violating the contract that the students' lawyer asserts the ETS had with the test-takers. The school's administration had the duty, in acting as an ETS representative, to provide secure and safe testing conditions, not the shabby environment described.

Common sense indicates that the students' parents would do better to spend their money going after the school, but, really, Trabuco Hills has already paid!

Ken Tritt

Cathedral City

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