Twenty students were arrested this week after officials determined that the students were taking part in an SAT test-taking scam that spanned across five Long Island high schools.
According to officials those arrested were believed to have accepted payments from students in order to take their SAT and ACT tests. The scam was spread over a three year period and was only discovered after officials noticed an unusually high number of SAT and ACT scores that outperformed each students actual grades.
A principal for one of the high schools told the New York Times:
“I think it’s widespread across the country.”
In one of the first arrests it was determined that a student had taken the SAT for at least six different students, each student paid $3,500 to ace the test. Despite being a male the test taker even managed to take the SAT for a female on one occasion.
While cheating on a test might not seem like a major offense the test takers are facing felony counts for scheming to defraud along with misdemeanors for falsifying business records and criminal impersonation.
An attorney for one of the students says he would like to see the situation handled by school officials and not the courts. According to the lawyer:
“While no one condones cheating, we have a school system that is separate and apart from the criminal justice system, and we have that for good reason.”
Going against that attorney’s wishes Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice noted:
“This is a crime. Make no mistake, as the system stands now, hard-working students are taking a back seat to the cheaters.”
Do you believe that criminal charges are necessary to stop the free flow of cheating SAT and ACT test takers?
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