Exam scoring errors turn up

by Masaaki Kameda

Staff Writer

Tokyo’s education bureau announced Friday it found more than 130 cases of scoring errors on high school entrance examinations for 2014 that resulted in erroneous rejections at four schools.

According to an inquiry conducted at 216 public high schools, the bureau found 139 errors in tests conducted at 48 schools for the 2014 school year.

“We found out on April 15 there were scoring errors at many high schools and that four successful applicants were rejected due to the errors,” said Masashi Tsutsumi, head of the department in charge of education at public schools.

“We must not make mistakes on entrance examinations, which influence the course of children,” Tsutsumi said, apologizing with a deep bow.

Tsutsumi said the bureau will talk to the four rejected applicants and their parents and come up with measures to prevent further errors after investigating the cause.

The problem was first reported at Ogikubo High School in Suginami Ward after the school reviewed entrance exam scores for new students and found errors in eight tests, prompting the education bureau to inspect other schools, said Toyohiko Kawagoe, section chief in charge of entrance examinations at the department.

The number of cases might change because the education bureau is still investigating, Kawagoe said.

“To be honest, we still don’t know the reason right now,” he said, vowing to conduct hearings to clarify the cause.

Kawagoe said the test papers are scored and checked by a total of four teachers at each school.

Kawagoe said the bureau will meet with the four applicants although they have already enrolled at other schools. Three advanced to private schools and one to a public high school.

“If they seek to transfer, we will respond to that,” Kawagoe said, adding the bureau will consider covering any extra expenses incurred from opting for private schools.

Kawagoe also said the bureau won’t cancel out applicants who are already enrolled if it finds they didn’t pass the examination due to scoring errors.

He didn’t disclose the number of students, saying the whole case is still under investigation.

Kawagoe said the education bureau and the schools will finish checking the exam papers for the 2014 academic year by early May.

He also said the bureau will check the exam papers for 2013 for scoring errors by late May.

The bureau will set up a panel to develop preventive steps, possibly by the end of July.

Tokyo Gov. Yoichi Masuzoe said Friday he instructed related offices to take proper measures.

“This is something that should definitely not happen,” he said at his regular news conference.