updated 3/22/2006 7:44:25 PM ET 2006-03-23T00:44:25

The College Board disclosed Wednesday that 27,000 SAT college entrance exams missed being rescanned following the initial discovery of scoring problems, including those of 375 more students who were given incorrectly low marks.

A College Board spokeswoman said the latest problems came to light Sunday following a request that Pearson Educational Management, which scores most of the exams, confirm all 495,000 October tests had been rescored. That request followed an earlier oversight in which 1,600 exams that had already been set aside for various reasons were overlooked.

On Sunday, Pearson told the College Board that 27,000 of the 495,000 tests had not been “completely processed” and would be rescored immediately, College Board spokeswoman Chiara Coletti said Wednesday. Coletti said she could not provide further details on how the tests had been missed.

Douglas Kubach, chief executive Pearson Educational Management, said in a news release that the company is “determined to take every possible necessary step to restore confidence in this process,” but a Pearson spokesman said he could not comment further on how the mistake happened.

“This was a very big surprise to us on Sunday,” Coletti said. “It is very humbling. We couldn’t be more sorry for the total stress this has caused students and admissions officers, and families.”

The announcement brings to 4,411 the number of students who received incorrectly low scores. It is the latest in a string of embarrassing revelations for the College Board, the nonprofit organization that owns the exam, which said after discovering the 1,600 exams last week that it believed there would be no more problems.

“This would be a comedy of errors if the impact on human lives were not so tragic,” said Robert Schaeffer of the group Fair Test, which opposes excessive standardized testing. “How many more missing forms are there lost in the system? How many other errors have not been reported?”

Answer sheets to be scanned twice
The College Board said that from now on all answer sheets would be scanned twice, among other new precautions, and that it would retain consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton to perform a comprehensive review within 90 days.

The initial discovery, disclosed to colleges beginning March 7, came as many schools were finalizing admissions decisions, prompting many to scramble to reconsider applicants whose scores were affected. The latest revelation will undoubtedly cause greater irritation in admissions offices.

Coletti said admissions officers and school counselors were being notified Wednesday, and students would be notified by e-mail starting Thursday, in some cases by phone.

“Some students will ask us to intervene” with admissions offices Coletti said. “We’ll do everything we can.”

Schaeffer said the latest disclosure shows the need for an independent investigation.

“There’s clearly something wrong with the management at the College Board and Pearson,” Schaeffer said.

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