Kaplan Test Prep New York

Kaplan's guarantee, from the company's website.This story was originally published by the school newspaper at Frank McCourt High School on June 17, 2014 and June 20, 2014. It is now being presented on the Daily News website as part of the Newsies! high school journalism competition for articles from the 2013-2014 school year.

By Emily Ren
Second, Features
Frank McCourt High School

The in-school course described on Kaplan's website.


David Shapiro decided that next year, the PTA’s College Readiness Committee will evaluate Kaplan’s proposal to teach in Frank McCourt High School along with other testing companies based on price and what each company offers, while keeping in mind this year’s experience with Kaplan when it makes its final decision.

The in-school course described on Kaplan's website.While I was interviewing different groups that were involved in this issue, the Kaplan company and the instructors who taught the FMHS classes did not reply to e-mailed questions. I made six attempts to contact them, but received a response only from one of the instructors, Michelle Velazquez, who answered once asking for the due date of the interview but did not answer again after I gave my reply. On June 12, too late for the print newspaper deadline, an e-mail arrived from Russell Schaffer, Kaplan’s senior communications manager. Click here to read the full interview. [ [This link is for Part 2 of 2 listed below]

I tried to find out the scores of those Kaplan prep students who took the SAT in May through David Shapiro. He referred me to the teacher, Michelle Velazquez, who did not respond.

Russell Schaffer. Senior Communications Manager, Kaplan.

Kaplan company officials replied to questions on June 12, which was past the deadline for the print newspaper article about the test-prep refunds that Kaplan has offered to McCourt families (“Kaplan Test Prep Problems Lead to Refunds at FMHS”). [Part 1 of 2 listed above] The e-mail interview with Russell Schaffer, Kaplan’s senior communications manager, is published in full below.

Q: Does Kaplan always offer refunds if they have received negative feedback?

A: Kaplan works with individual school administrators whenever there is negative feedback around a class-based school partnership; in such cases we work in collaboration with our school contact to accommodate requests. We do take all feedback seriously — both negative and positive — and seek to incorporate this into continually improving the program experience for our students.

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