257 students must re-take SATs after seating mishap - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

257 students must re-take SATs after seating mishap

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

Behind the peaceful facade at Reagan High School there is on this day a good deal of bitterness.

"All the juniors were mad. They were pretty pissed," said Jonathan Rodriguez, a junior a Reagan High School.

It's fallout from a major blunder on the part of adult educators who administered the scholastic aptitude test on this HISD campus.

Fox 26 has confirmed that the College Board which oversees the day long exam has invalidated the results of 257 students because pictures revealed they were seated too closely together in violation of a strictly enforced standard.

 "They did sit us too close and now the students have to suffer and take the test all over again," said Rodriguez.

"People were cheating. They were like asking me for answers and I was like no, chill out," claimed Norman Guiterrez, also a Reagan Junior.

While the College board detected no cheating at Reagan, it is asking that all students re-take the exam - the only campus in Texas required to do so.

HISD spokesman Jason Spencer says the botched testing session at Reagan was unfortunate, but not entirely unexpected when you consider the exam is given free of charge, during the regular school week to every single junior in the district.

"Back in February we tested 10,000 juniors district wide on the SAT. That creates some logistical issues that we are going to have to get better at addressing," said Spencer.

"We will learn from it and go forward," he added.

HISD is among only three districts in the nation providing "no cost" college entrance exams - a program that appears to deliver substantial dividends especially for low-income students.

 "We take those barriers out of the way and say look here's a day during class time when you can sit down and take the SAT and see how you might do and a lot of our students have been pleasantly surprised," said Spencer.

HISD is hopeful most students at Reagan will view the flawed February test as a "practice" exam.

For their part, Gutierrez and fellow Reagan Junior Oscar Medrano not too enthused.

"Because it's a four hour test, just all day!", said Medrano.

 257 Reagan High Juniors are scheduled to take the SAT again on April 17th. There will be no charge.

HISD remains fully committed to the program having seen college applications increase and scholarship money triple over the last four years.

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