More than a dozen New York City students will have to retake state mandated standardized exams after the city lost their answer sheets.
Students at Brooklyn's Franklin D. Roosevelt High School's night school are already considered at risk of dropping out. The program helps struggling students work toward graduation, but the mix-up is affecting 17 students, whose answer sheets were not included in a packing list to be scored, NY1 reports.
The city doesn't know what happened to the U.S. history exams, which disappeared as they were being transferred to another school as part of an effort to curb cheating by having teachers grade exams for students at other schools. About 107,000 tests from 162 schools were exchanged for grading, according to The Wall Street Journal, and are required for graduation.
Four students were not able to graduate on time as a direct result of the missing answer sheets, while the other students still had other requirements to meet. They must retake the exam during the August test administration.
But it's not just graduation that's eluding the affected students. Jose Martinez, a 20-year-old student in the program told the New York Daily News that he's missing out on a raise at work that is only given to high school graduates. He says he's "positive" he passed, especially after studying "10 times harder" this time around, as he had failed the same U.S. history exam before.
"I made sure I did everything to achieve my goal," Martinez told the Daily News. "I'm real upset. My hopes went out the window. My goal was to graduate in June."
The lost answer sheets comes amid another city education blunder, in which more than 7,000 New York elementary and middle school students were wrongly banned from attending their graduation ceremonies when education officials mistakenly thought the students had failed state exams.
The incidents call attention to a growing movement calling for deemphasis on standardized testing. More than 1,100 college professors across the state signed a petition in June rallying against excessive, high-stakes K-12 standardized testing. They argue that the exams have failed to improve schools over the last 10 years -- a recent analysis found that Bloomberg's new schools have failed to improve the academic standing of city students.
The petition came a few weeks after dozens of parents and students rallied in protest outside the New York City offices of exam publisher Pearson Education to fight the growth of high-stakes standardized testing.