|Nearly 200 missing ACT tests from Iowa were found earlier this month — at a grocery store.
On February 2, the ACT organization emailed 195 students of Johnston High School in Iowa, telling them that they would not be getting their ACT score reports, which they’d been promised would be available no later than February 6.
ACT spokeswoman Katie Wacker told the Associated Press that one of the organization’s testing coordinators had been told to use FedEx to ship the test packets, but instead choose to send them through U.S. mail.
“When that happens, if they have simply gone astray, they often eventually show up and we are able to score those tests and provide those scores to the student,” Wacker told the Associated Press. “But if they do not show up, we are unable to provide any scores and therefore our only real course of action is to apologize and ask that the students retest, at a considerable amount of inconvenience to them and their families.”
In order to remedy the situation, the ACT organization offered students refunds and the chance to re-test for free, but the date they set was after the deadlines to be considered for scholarships at some universities.
Apparently, the ACT-employed testing coordinator put the answer sheets into a FedEx mailer provided by the ACT organization. Instead of bringing them to FedEx, though, the coordinator dropped them off into a USPS blue collection box outside of Dahl’s grocery store.
When USPS found the FedEx mailer, they returned it to Dahl’s grocery store, presuming that was who had sent it. The answer sheets sat there until the ACT organization realized that they weren’t coming.
The Johnston Post Office figured out what had happened, and retrieved the package. The answer sheets were mailed overnight — via FedEx — and the ACT organization has said that it will not only honor the answer sheets, but also expedite their grading. The organization will also refund the students’ testing fees, which can range from $38 for a standard test to $54.50 if students take a written portion.
“Anytime you take a package or a letter to a carrier you hope it reaches its destination, but there’s always a possibility that something could be damaged or misplaced,” said Wacker. “We’re very pleased that [the answer sheets] were found and we’re still very apologetic for what this means to the kids and what they’ve gone through in thinking yesterday that they were facing a re-test.”