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Long Island Students, Parents Irate After ACT Answer Sheets Go Missing

KINGS PARK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- The search is on for dozens of answer sheets that disappeared after Long Island students took the ACT in June.

As CBS2's Carolyn Gusoff reported, all the students have been left with is an offer to retake the test.

The exams were administered at Kings Park High School by the ACT, the private company that tests nearly two-million students every year.

Despite strict protocol, 61 score sheets are missing.

Joseph Weindling has been checking his email every day for 8 weeks, waiting for his all-important ACT scores. Instead he found an apology.

"It's unbelievable, one's fine, but 61 is unbelievable," he said.

Brent Scheinman got the same apology.

"They could have told me six weeks ago that they never received the tests," Scheinman said.

Scheinman and Weindling were among dozens of Long Island students who received the same message.

"We deeply regret to inform you that you are affected by this unfortunate situation."

Some 400 students took the exam in June, 61 score sheets are now lost.

An ACT spokesperson said the loss was rare and 'very unfortunate.' The answer sheets were sealed in security packets, and arrived at their headquarters in tact via FedEx.

"Exactly what happened from the time they were collected and the time missing from the intact mailing package is still a mystery," Katie Wacker of ACT Public Relations said.

The company is investigating, but so far nothing adds up.

It has offered refunds and a free retake in mid September, but in the competitive world of college admissions, students said they're out of practice and could have been prepping all summer long.

"I would call weekly to see where his test scores are and I was constantly told they are in scoring," mother, Mary Jo Weindling said.

Parents questioned why they were given conflicting answers for months. Were tests damaged in transit, lost in transit, still being scored? The answer is 'none of the above.'

"They knew something, or they could have known something a lot sooner," Moses Weindling said.

This was not the first incident of its kind, which begs the question; why aren't these tests administered electronically?

A spokesman for the ACT told CBS2's Gusoff that they are moving in that direction, but not all schools have enough internet connectivity.

A spokesperson for Fed Ex said they understand how important the test results are, and are investigating the matter closely with ACT.


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