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Plano ISD

Plano Honor Students Denied AP Exams After Registration Error

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Erin Albertin will never forget those words her assistant principal spoke… after five years of advanced classes seemed to be for nothing.

“He explicitly said, I promise you, you will take these tests," she recalled.

It’s her junior year at Plano West High – a full schedule of four Advanced Placement classes, and five end of the year tests which would show what she learned.

"She’s worked all of her years, working up to this point, to get into a good school and then to have some administrative snafu," said Erin's father Andrew.

Erin had turned in the paperwork, paid the fees, but still had a nagging feeling and logged online to check.

“I went and told my mom you need to email the counselors. I think something is wrong,” Erin recalled.

The College Board’s website showed Erin somehow wasn’t registered.

"They said 'sorry' but I don’t really consider that an apology," said Erin.

The College Board told NBC 5, on November 11 someone at Erin’s school logged into a computer and changed Erin’s intention to test from Yes to No, un-registering her for the tests.

In fact, it happened to two other students as well. Plano ISD wouldn’t sit down for an interview. They said they’re not ruling out someone at the school made a mistake, but wrote in part, "Regardless of where the error occurred... the College Board would not allow any flexibility or solution on behalf of these students."

"In the past, if there have ever been concerns over AP testing, the school district and College Board have been able to find solutions that did not penalize students."

"As a district, we are concerned about global issues with the 2020 AP administration and lack of flexibility."

A class-action lawsuit has been filed against the College Board by other students with AP testing trouble. Those students allege they could log in, but couldn’t submit their answers. It happened to students in North Richland Hills, as NBC 5 first reported last month.

Erin and her Dad believe with so many issues, during such a complex year,  the board should have been more flexible.

"It can’t be that complicated. I understand integrity of tests and this is a new system and it’s the first time they did it this way because of the COVID, but still people created the process, they had six weeks to figure out how to get it right and they didn’t try. We can’t do it. They weren’t trying," said Erin's father.

The College Board wouldn’t sit down for an interview with us but gave us this statement. “Normally, we’d do everything in our power to allow students who hadn’t registered, to test. However, this year’s online exams require a new process to certify students’ credentials, including generating a unique electronic ticket for each exam. As a result, we’re unable to accept late registrations.”

Erin is left to apply for schools without the AP test scores her applications should have. 

"It’s not the end of the world where I’m not going to get into college because of this but it’s just going to look really weird," she said.

Erin’s family pleaded with the College Board to write a letter explaining what happened, so Erin could attach it to her college applications. They got no response. NBC 5 worked to make it happen and just yesterday the college board agreed to write that explanation.

If you’re having an education issue and need help, log on to nbcdfw.com/carterintheclassroom and connect with Education Reporter Wayne Carter.

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