Mainland High School principal, administrator reprimanded after giving students wrong AP test

The Volusia County School District will also pay for hundreds of students to take the real exam.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The principal and a former administrator at Mainland High School received letters of reprimand after hundreds of students unknowingly took last year's Advanced Placement exam instead of the 2019 exam, according to the Volusia County school district.

A report claims less than a quarter of the over 400 students tested got this year's exam. The rest were given an old test because the principal said the new one was too expensive.

“This, to me, was an unconscionable chain of events that occurred at Mainland High,” said Carl Persis, Volusia County School Board chairman.

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The district said more than 300 students had no idea they could not get college credit for their AP seminar class.

That’s because the school could only pay for 90 students to take the real test. Teachers were told not to give students a heads up.

“To me, deception, deceiving students and their parents, it doesn’t get much worse than that,” said Persis. “Getting a written, formal reprimand is about as high a punishment as we give in the district with the exception of termination.”

The principal, Dr. Cheryl Salerno, defended her herself.

She told investigators it was never her intention to “dupe” anyone, nor does she feel anyone was “victimized.”

She said she wanted accurate data from all students doing their best throughout the course.

The school board will now pay for students who were enrolled in the class to take the real test or retake it if they failed.