L.I. Cheating Scandal Prompts Sweeping Security Changes For SAT, ACT

MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Officials announced new security measures for standardized test-takers on Tuesday aimed at preventing another testing scandal like the one that rocked Long Island.

1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reports

Students taking the SAT and ACT from now on will first have to pass an identity test, which includes state-of-the-art photo recognition, enhanced handwriting analysis and more testing at home school sites, among others.

The changes come after a cheating scandal put 20 former and current students in handcuffs and exposed some major weaknesses in the system, particularly when it came to verifying the identity of students taking the test.

The new security measures are aimed at closing that gap.

WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reports

“They are putting in place a security procedure that’s going to be second to none,” said Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice. “That’s going to, I believe, seriously cut down on the ability for people to do this if not eliminate it altogether.”

Rice has been working with officials from the College Board and the ACT since the cheating scandal broke last year when Sam Eshoghoff, the alleged ringleader, admitted to charging students up to $3,500 to take their tests using fake IDs.

“Started with some kid approaching me. He’s like, ‘Yo, you’re good on your SATs and I’m not,” Eshoghoff said during an interview on 60 Minutes.

Rice called Eshaghoff an “academic gun for hire” and says the changes are “extremely necessary.” She’s also pushing for greater deterrents, such as preventing a cheater from re-taking the test for a year.

“We have closed the loopholes,” Rice said. “Going forward, it’s going to be very difficult for someone to pay someone or have someone take the test for them.”

Students will now be required to upload a picture of themselves when they register for the SAT or ACT. That photo will be printed on their admission ticket and at the test site roster as well as being tacked onto scores as they’re reported back to high schools and colleges.

It will also be stored in a database which will be available to admissions officials.

“Score integrity can then be reinforced by the people who know the students best, the teachers and counselors at their high schools,” said Charles Smith, vice president of ACT Education.

IDs of test takers will be checked frequently, including on arrival, after breaks and when students hand in their answers.

Testing companies will conduct “spot checks” with enhanced security at random locations which may include retina scanning and handwriting analysis.

And as part of the complete overhaul, standby test registration will be eliminated and proctors will receive extra training to help them identify cheaters.

The testing companies say they, not students, will pay for the extra security measures. The new security protocol is expected to be implemented nationwide and is set to start next fall.

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Comments

One Comment

  1. Dantes says:

    They can’t do this. It disenfranchises test takers. There cannot be fraud in the ACT and SAT, just as their cannot be voting fraud.

  2. Ed says:

    Photo ID to prevent massive fraud. Wow, who would have thought of that? Could this prevent fraud in some other area? duh.

    By the way, the Great Neck, Long Island Schools (rich spoiled super-liberal “progressives”) were legendary for SAT cheating when I was a boy. The liberals have been paying for people to take their SAT exams Teddy Kennedy style for generations.

  3. Duke Chesnut says:

    Oh No, It’s Racist to ask for ID’s to take a test, The ‘poor’ kids don’t have the resources to obtain ID’s, it would be a burden for the parents of ‘poor’ kids to go out and become productive citizens. How do these ‘poor’ kids get to the ACT/ACT tests anyway? METRO Card, borrow mom’s car or walk? Liberal hypocrisy is on display in this cheating scandal, you must have an ID to take a test, but not to VOTE.

  4. Leslie says:

    Fine. Maybe this will discourage kids from hiring other people to take the tests for them. Now how are they going to stop all the cheating that goes on once inside the test site with kids using all manner of electronics to cheat? This is beyond unfair for all the kids who have worked hard in high school and have never cheated. I’m really sick of all the cheating that goes on in high schools and on these tests just so these cheaters can get a leg up on the other kids and go to their “dream: schools.

  5. Tar Heel says:

    The cost of taking the test will rise because of new security measures. You can thank the cheaters for this.

    FYI: The LSAT has required fingerprints for decades.

  6. Billybob says:

    Lets get this straight. We are going to require HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS to submit pictures and supply two forms of ID to take a test, but do not want to ask anyone to produce any ID to vote.
    Where is the greater amount of fraud over many years with greater consequences?

    Hmmmmm…..

  7. MIKE says:

    ITS OK THEY’RE WHITE KIDS THEY DID NOTHING WRONG. IF IT WERE A BUNCH OF MINOIRITIES, AN ARREST WOULD HAVE BEEN MADE, A CONCERTED EFFORT WOULD HAVE BEEN MADE TO FIND ALL THE THUGS WHO CHEATED. THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN PULLED FOR SCHOOL JAILED AND OSTRASIZED!

    AND YOU THINK ALL WHITE KIDS ARE SMART…CHECK AGAIN, THEY’RE CHEATERS IN EVERYTHING!!

    GOOD TO BE WHITE IN AMERICA!

    1. Nina says:

      Its not about race. Its about morality. The kids involved were morally bankrupt. and fyi, many were arrested, and Sam was charged with a felony. His academic life is ruined. There was justice served. How much cheating can be uncovered? Its everywhere, and its a shame.

      1. CT Native says:

        Great response. I’m tired of reading stupid posts from racists who feel safe with the anonymity of the Internet!

        1. MIKE says:

          BITE A D —— I — C — K

          1. Nina says:

            Yes Mike, clearly your anger is working for you. Being a minority is a curse, is it not? Thankfully, you are moral and ethical, unlike the cheaters in the story.

            (eye roll)

            1. MIKE says:

              I HATE WHITEY!

              1. Nina says:

                Yes Mike, and your hate will define you for the rest of your life, while everyone else has a life worth living. As long as you blame others for your failing, you will remain as ignorant as you clearly are. Good luck to you just the same.

              2. oatka says:

                Mike: It must be sad, sitting there all alone in mommy’s basement – just you and your laptop – postingt stupid comments in the hope that SOMEBODY, ANYBODY will pay attention to you.

  8. Tatin says:

    When I walked into a testing center to take my DAT last month, the process was like airport security on steroids. They scan your fingerprint, make you empty out your pockets, verify the both types of ID you must have with you at all times, scan a metal detector all over your body, etc. each and every time you enter or exit the testing area. It is a pain in the rear but it protects the integrity of the test, I guess. I’m surprised not all standardized tests have the same security measures, no wonder cheating was rampant.

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