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Sweeping Security Changes For ACT, SAT To Be Announced Following L.I. Scandal

Dual IDs, Advanced Photo Recognition, Enhanced Handwriting Analysis Coming
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(credit: CBS 2)

(credit: CBS 2)

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MANHASSET, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A major announcement is expected Tuesday morning in response to the College Board cheating controversy that swept Long Island high schools.

SAT and ACT officials will join Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice at a news conference to outline new security measures for test takers.

The highly-anticipated and sweeping changes to the placement tests are being called extremely necessary and “long overdue” by some school superintendents.

“Kids all deserve a chance to earn success and whenever there is an unlevel playing field, and students are cheating, or a few students are cheating — the rest of the students...it can actually cost a student admission,” Port Washington Schools Superintendent Dr. Geoffrey Gordon told 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera.

Gordon emphasized the need to create an even playing field for all students.

“It’s about time there’s a change. We look at the values that we cherish in education, in our democracy and can’t do that unless we have the right safeguards in place so that every child is treated fairly,” he told CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis.

Six months after the DA exposed the alleged cheating scandal that tore through five North Shore schools and resulted in the arrests of 20 former and current students, CBS 2 has learned that modifications will be announced intended to close the gap in security.

The new measures are expected to include dual identification to prevent impersonation, using state-of-the-art photo recognition and enhanced handwriting analysis, CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reported.

“I think that it’s a money making operation and it’s about time there’s a change. We look at the values that we cherish in education and in our democracy and can’t do that unless we have the right safeguards in place so that every child is treated fairly,” Gordon told McLogan.

Sherwyn Fullington, a North Shore college prep tutor, said honest students have suffered.

“Some colleges out there, they think, might be looking at them differently, because they come from Long Island, because they go to these schools that had the scandal before. They want to put it behind them and don’t wan’t to be scrutinized,” Fullington said.

Senator Ken Lavalle, who led state hearings into the scandal, is among those favoring new criminal penalties.

“There are parents that are complicit in this, they are involved. You can’t tell me that students are walking around with $3,500 dollars,” he said.

DA Rice also pushed for greater deterrents, such as preventing a cheater from re-taking the test for a year, and mandatory notification from high schools to applied colleges, when students are caught cheating.

The new security protocol is expected to be implemented nationwide.

Do you think the new security measures to be announced Tuesday will help stop test cheating?  Share your thoughts in the comments section below…

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