Starpoint students call on Sen. Schumer to help find missing AP exams

Education

PENDLETON, N.Y. (WIVB) — More than 100 Starpoint High School students are left without thousands of dollars in college credits after the district says UPS lost a box of Advanced Placement exams.

In a letter sent to 106 students and their parents, Starpoint High School Principal Gil Licata said the school followed the College Board policy by shipping exams through UPS. In total, the school district mailed out five boxes, and one – containing US History and Literature exams – never made it to its destination in New Jersey.

“I was like, this makes absolutely no sense,” said Allie Schuler, whose AP US History exam is among the lost tests. “Every other school district in the area sent these tests out…why us?”

Hunter Hodge also took the AP US History exam. He said he’s frustrated with UPS.

“I did look it up, and from Starpoint to the collection facility of the College Board it should only take six hours, so it should have had overnight priority shipping,” Hodge said. “I’m disappointed it had to go through different places and had the opportunity to get lost.”

Principal Licata told the students, according to College Board, if the exams are found they will be scored, but if not, students will have the option to retake the exam or get a refund.

Many we spoke with are now saying that’s not good enough, and have decided to put what they’ve learned in their AP classes to use. Schuler said she had the idea to send a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, seeking his help.

“In AP US History we learn that Senators are supposed to be representatives of the people,” she said.

Dozens of students, including Schuler, Hodge and their friend Kaitlyn Vu, signed the letter and sent it to Schumer’s local office.

“I was like, please get me on this, I’ll get all of my friends to see if they’d like to be on it,” Vu said. “Me and my friends, we’re a part of Top 10, we’re the biggest AP kids there. We were all jumping for an opportunity to have our voices be heard.”

On Friday, Schumer responded with his own letter – this one, to UPS. In it he said “to punish good students because of logistical error at UPS would be unfair.” He also called on the company to reimburse the students for their money and credits if the exams aren’t found.

Schuler said she jumped for joy when she heard about Schumer’s response.

“I’m scared to get my hopes up too high, but I can’t help but not be happy about it,” she said. “I’m so excited, I can’t wait to see what happens.”

In a statement to News 4 Friday, a spokesperson for UPS said they regret that some of the tests were not delivered, and are working with the school on a resolution.

Marlee Tuskes is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.

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