MILLBRAE (KCBS)—Mills High School students who had their Advanced Placement tests invalidated due to seating irregularities turned to help from Congresswoman, who held a meeting in Washington on Monday night in an attempt to reinstate the their test scores.

A student reported to the College Board, a New York testing firm that some of the nearly 300 students were seated too closely, some facing each other. When the scores were tossed out over a rules breach, students, parents and the school asked U.S. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo to intervene.

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Speier called a telephonic town hall meeting from Washington with Mills High School students and parents, representatives from the test’s distributors College Board, test security providers Educational Testing Service and the San Mateo Union High School District on Monday night to discuss the invalidated tests scores.

“I want to start by impressing upon the College Board the hardship that been has created for these students,” Speier said, adding that the likelihood students knowing that they are supposed to be facing forward and five feet apart “is probably unlikely.”

Vice President Trevor Packer of College Board, who was on a conference call, said he empathized with the unhappy students but remained steadfast with their decision and blamed school officials for the situation.

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“It’s not the student but the process so we’re really eager to support the students in retesting,” he said.

The AP program was created by the College Board to offer college-level curriculum and examinations to students allowing them to gain college credit while still in high school.

Junior Jason Zhang was disappointed with the response, however, and said some students won’t retest.

“We feel that taking the retest best basically shows that College Board is right,” he said.

A lawsuit is already being considered. Last week, the school district hired on Burlingame’s Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy law firm to work collaboratively with district counsel Lozano Smith Attorneys to sue College Board over the invalidations.

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