Legendary Minnesotans - The Man Who Sued MN's Standardized Tests...and Won!

You take a standardized test in school and fail, you assume you just didn't do well. But what if the test is actually the problem? And not just for one or two people, but for 7,935 students!?


This isn't hypothetical. It happened right here in Minnesota in 2000. Today's Legendary Minnesotan is the parent who stood up and said, "What the heck is going on here, then!"

Joe Snodgrass's daughter flunked the math portion of the test. She talked to Joe about it, he listened to his daughter and knew his daughter knew math like the back of her hand, so she didn't very likely flunk. He asked to see the exam, the testing company, NCS Pearson, said no way, and Joe said, "Are you sure you wanna go this way? I'm an attorney..."

judge's gavel on desk in courtroom in Guatemala.

When he finally got the exam, what was found? As mentioned above, almost 8,000 students were told they failed so they didn't get their diploma and ran into many other issues. Plus, over 45,000 Minnestoa students had their math scored incorrectly. It didn't cause them to fail, but still...holy moly testing company.

According to a 2002 story by NPR, the testing company "promised to take corrective action. They reimbursed CFL and local school districts for costs related to the scoring errors and gave a $1,000 post-secondary tuition reimbursement to about a dozen affected seniors."

The lawsuit was settled for $7 Million for students and their families for actual damage. The smallest check was $362.50 and they went as high as $16,000 for students that weren't allowed to participate in graduation or dropped out.

Minnesota stopped working with NCS Pearson.

As always, if you have a comment, complaint, or concern about something I wrote here, please let me know: james.rabe@townsquaremedia.com

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