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Chelsea Tech Students Retake Regents After Company Loses Answer Booklets

By Nikki Lohr | August 13, 2013 4:25pm
 About 55 11th-graders at Chelsea Career and Technical High School retook the English Regents test Tuesday.
Hudson Square Students Forced to Retake English Regents
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HUDSON SQUARE — Dozens of 11th-graders at Chelsea Career and Technical Education High School were forced to retake their English Regents exam in the middle of their summer vacation, after the testing company lost their original answer sheets.

The students, who trod through the rain to get to the Hudson Square school at 8:15 a.m. Tuesday to retake the test, found out in late July that their original answer booklets to the essay-writing section of the exam had been lost, said Jan Scott, an English teacher at the school.

Scott was told that the box holding about 55 booklets fell off the back of a truck on the way to the grading center in Connecticut, run by McGraw-Hill.

“It’s been horrible,” said Ryan Igina, 17, after finishing the three-hour test Tuesday morning at the school at 131 Sixth Ave. “Taking the test makes you nervous enough the first time and then you have to go through that all over again.”

Samira Agbere, 17, had to rearrange her Pennsylvania vacation plans to take the test a second time.

“When we first took it, we were confident,” Agbere said. “This time the multiple choice was harder and we didn’t have as much time to study.”

Scott held review sessions for the students from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday to Thursday of last week to help them prepare.

“The kids really took initiative,” Scott said. “The turnout was tremendous for this time of year.”

Surraya Stapleton, 17, said the review sessions were helpful, but there was still a lot of information she had forgotten since the school year ended.

The snafu was one of several that occurred this year as the city changed its system for grading Regents tests, shipping the answer booklets out of state rather than grading them in-house, according to reports.

The Department of Education said in a statement on Monday that officials had worked with McGraw-Hill to try to find the answer booklets but weren't able to do so.

The testing company referred questions to the DOE.

About 20 Chelsea Career and Technical Education students were unable to retake the test on Tuesday, so they will have to take it in January instead, which means the scores will not be on their transcripts for college applications.

“A lot of students knew that they had to come today in order for colleges to see their scores,” Scott said. “It’s an important test, particularly for students applying to CUNY and SUNY schools.”