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Guilderland botched grading of 504 Regents exams

15 students dropped from pass to fail but will not see their scores changed

Guilderland Central School District Superintendent Marie Wiles, left, and Guilderland High School Principal Thomas Lutsic discuss scoring errors found on 504 Regents exams administered in June. Human error was attributed for skewing nearly one-in-six of the scores.

Guilderland Central School District Superintendent Marie Wiles, left, and Guilderland High School Principal Thomas Lutsic discuss scoring errors found on 504 Regents exams administered in June. Human error was attributed for skewing nearly one-in-six of the scores. Photo by Charles Wiff.

— The errors amounted to tabulation mistakes, Wiles said. Scores were incorrectly tallied, and mistakes were also made in converting raw scores into the final grade. Teachers of the subject being tested generally grade the exams.

Most of the mistakes made a difference of a few grade points in either direction, but the district acknowledged there were larger errors, some resulting in differences of more than 10 points.

“We're trying to understand how this could have happened,” Wiles said, adding, “Teachers are human.”

There were no mistakes found on the long answer portions of the tests. The problem was found Aug. 8, when the results from the state's scans of the answer sheets were compared with district records.

Letters will be going out next week to the parents of all students who took a Regents exam in June. A new score and report card will also be sent if a correction is being made.

The district will not longer be grading the multiple choice section of the Regents by hand, opting instead to send them out for electronic scanning. Since this was the first year the district's sent the tests out, it was not immediately clear if similar mistakes were being made in past years.

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