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Eighty percent of the students from Florida’s Mainland High School who took the Advanced Placement Seminar test won’t get any college credit no matter how high they score. That’s because they took a “placebo” exam that doesn’t actually count, but they weren’t told that. Principal Cheryl Salerno talked the school district into allowing her to put almost the entire freshman class into the class, which teaches research and writing. But the district wouldn’t pay the $60,000 for the entire class to take the test. So Salerno paid for 78 of the students to take the test and gave the remaining 336 the previous year’s test, made to look like it they were taking the real test. Salerno said she did not realize the students might be able to get college credit for the test, saying she believed they could only get credit if they also passed the AP Research test. The principal is now under investigation.


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