ETS Pays $11.1 Million to Settle Teacher Test Lawsuit
More than 4,100 prospective seventh through twelfth grade classroom teachers who were falsely told they had failed the PRAXIS Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) Grades 7 - 12 exam due to an Educational Testing Service (ETS) scoring error (see Examiner Winter 2004-2005, Fall 2004, and Spring-Summer 2004) are eligible for compensation from a $11.1 million pool created in a landmark settlement of the resulting class action lawsuits. The educators took the test between January 1, 2003, and April 30, 2004, a period when ETS admits it wrongly scored short-answer items.
According to the terms of the legal agreement, test-takers who received erroneously failing scores can file a short form to receive about $500 each automatically or provide more detailed information to make larger monetary claims. The settlement fund is designed to cover "lost wages, decreased earning capacity, delayed graduation, personal injuries, mental anguish, psychological injury, incidental damages, humiliation and embarrassment, out of pocket losses and other forms of damages." The settlement pool also makes an updated score report available for free to 23,000 other PRAXIS PLT candidates whose scores were also reported as inaccurately low but whose pass-fail status was not changed by correcting the error.
A court-appointed Special Master will review submissions and recommend payment award levels to Federal District Court Judge Sarah Vance, who has been overseeing the case. More than two dozen lawsuits were consolidated in her New Orleans courtroom. Though the firm denied all legal claims, ETS settled before trial.
FairTest staff served as expert consultants for the law firms representing plaintiffs in the case. Court documents, including copies of the claims forms, are available at http://www.ppltclaims.com/
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