BIWABIK (AP) -- Gov. Jesse Ventura is defending his education commissioner, Christine Jax, following revelations that the private testing company that scores Minnesota's basic skills tests incorrectly scored thousands last spring.
"It's the company that made the mistake," Ventura said Wednesday during a trip to the Iron Range.
Nearly 8,000 students were told they failed the math part of the state's basic skills test when they actually passed.
In all, about 47,000 students who took the test in February and April this year received the wrong scores because of errors made by the Assessments and Testing Division of National Computer Systems, a private Eden Prairie-based company hired by the state.
As many as 336 seniors may have been kept from graduating because of the error, and thousands of others may have been required to take summer courses.
Earlier this week, Jax conceded that the Department of Children, Families and Learning was also partly to blame because officials delayed for weeks responding to a parent with questions about the test.
Inquiries by the parent, Edina attorney Marty Swaden, led to the discovery that the answers to six questions on half of the exams were wrong. Had the test been reviewed sooner, students with incorrect scores may have graduated or avoided summer school.
Swaden first contacted a state employee to try to go over the test in early May. He was not allowed to see the test until two weeks ago.
Jax said she did not learn of the delays until Friday.
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