Ah, the age-old question — if a student takes an ACT exam on a non-approved testing date, will it be scored?
Some Johnson County high school juniors who took the college-entrance exam on March 2-3 learned Tuesday that the answer is no.
Inclement weather and parent-teacher conferences in February postponed a scheduled free testing day for juniors at Mill Valley and De Soto high schools.
“The district’s ACT test coordinator identified a test date in March and received approval directly from ACT,” according to a letter sent to affected students Tuesday from Michelle Hite, USD 232’s director of District Accreditation and Assessment as well as Elementary Curriculum and Instruction.
De Soto and Mill Valley students took the test on March 2-3, but ACT refused to score the exams after receiving the completed tests.
“The district spent several days communicating with ACT to appeal its decision but the ACT compliance committee did not change its determination,” according to the letter from Hite.
Now, all of those students must retake the ACT on April 6. The retakes also will be free of charge to those students.
ACT testing days are staggered to avoid test questions and answers being leaked, which could allow future test-takers to know what was on the test in advance.
USD 232 wanted to make it clear that the ACT was to blame for approving the alternate test date then refusing to score those tests after they were taken:
It is vitally important that students and parents understand this issue is not the result of any action by the administration at De Soto High School and Mill Valley High School, nor reflection on our teachers or counselors,” Hite’s letter said. “Building leadership, test coordinators and staff were excellent in preparing and proctoring tests.
The decision by the ACT committee to require retakes speaks to ACT’s internal documentation and communication missteps, among themselves, and with school clients.
USD 232 has expressed its frustration to the ACT committee “in clear terms” and apologized to students “for the inconvenience caused by this decision.”
“While this news is a disappointment to the school district, we are confident students will be better prepared when they retake the free ACT assessment,” the letter said.
If a student will not be available to retake the ACT on April 6, the student or their parents should contact Hite by calling 913-667-6200 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.