The administration received a call from the College Board today informing them that Advanced Placement U.S. History and German students will have to retake part of the exam.
Students were informed of the decision during a brief meeting convened during tenth period in the Small Auditorium.
“I feel like I’m Katniss and I was just told that I have to go back into the Hunger Games,” sophomore Madeline Hertz posted to her Facebook account after hearing the news.
During the AP U.S. History and German exams May 15, the high school had a fire drill, which required evacuation of the building.
“The College Board received a media contact that there was talking during the exam . . . and I couldn’t assure them there was no talking,” Principal Michael Griffith said. Because of this contact, the College Board is requiring students to retake only the written portion of the exam. The drill occurred after the first, objective portion of the test was complete.
The students will retake the exams during the scheduled retake May 22.
Griffith apologized for the fire drill. However, students still fume. “I think it’s ridiculous. How can he think planning this fire drill won’t affect our scores?” sophomore Audrey Anderle said. “He can say he’s sorry but it doesn’t make up for it.”
Many students are upset that the administration could let such a large mistake happen. “I’m extremely disappointed that it was a planned fire drill. That wasn’t our fault, and we’re the ones who have to pay for it,” sophomore Zach Reizes said.
Even juniors empathize with the students. “I think it’s really irresponsible by the administration because this is a really important test and practically every sophomore has to take it,” said junior Mia Wang, a former AP U.S. History student.
However, some students realize that the retake is necessary to give each test taker an equal opportunity.
“I’m not mad at the College Board. It’s perfectly logical; we did have 15 more minutes,” sophomore Lea Kayali said.
“I think it’s unfortunate, but there are procedures put in place for just these events,” AP U.S. History teacher Elizabeth Plautz said. “I know that the APUSH students are prepared and they will rise to this challenge.”
Assistant Principal Eric Hutchinson and Griffith agree that the students are well prepared for the exam and that they studied hard. Unfortunately, “a lot of nerves were unraveled and they didn’t deserve it,” Hutchinson said. “They didn’t deserve it.”
“I’m disappointed for the students and wish they weren’t in this situation,” Griffith said. “They worked hard and they deserved us to match that.”
Hutchinson took full responsibility for the fire drill, saying the error emerged from misreading many emails regarding International Baccalaureate and AP testing. “I am professionally and seriously sorry for it,” he said.
“No one felt worse than me, although they may not know it,” Hutchinson said.
Griffith said, “We’re a team. A mistake was made. They are human errors.”
With reporting from Abby White