Colleges place heavy emphasis on test scores in their highly competitive admissions processes. Where you go to college determines what sort of ilk you rub elbows with while doing kegstands, who will hire you, how much money you will make, and your success and happiness forever and always, and poor test scorers are sent to hard labor camps in the Adirondacks. It's no wonder that teenagers pull out all the stops in pursuit of the perfect SAT score, and it's no wonder that often times their desperation combined with their general teen malaise drives them to cheat. Now the government's stepping in to make that more difficult, and, in the process, making the entire standardized test taking process even more of a pain in the ass than it already is.
The latest crackdown on teen cheating, or, as no one calls it, SATeating, comes on the heels of a scandal that made all of Long Island practically shit its pants. Last month, six current and former students at Great Neck High School in Nassau County were arrested for paying someone else to take their SATs for them, and the student who actually took the exams faces up to four years in prison. The test taker's lawyer said cheating on a test should hardly be the concern of our criminal courts and should be handled inside the school. School officials say they're cooperating with law enforcement and that this is very, very, very serious indeed. And now the New York State Senate has gotten involved.
In a New York State Senate hearing yesterday that involved the heads of both The College Board and Educational Testing Services as well as a lot of fiery political shouting, lawmakers demanded to know how rampant exam day impersonations like the Great Neck scandal were at a national level. Testing officials say that impersonation cases probably aren't common, but that out of approximately 2 million tests taken every year, 4,000 or so seem a little fraudy. The panel of test officials promised to combat the problem by requiring students be photographed on the day of the test and hiring the FBI to handle some of the fraud cases. We can't have terrorists just waltzing in there and taking SAT tests willy-nilly, you know. This isn't Libya. There are rules.
Critics say that new test taking security measures are just an excuse for the SAT to jack up its fees again, penalizing all students because a select few can't resist cheating. Others worry that the administrators of standardized tests have a monopoly and shouldn't use law enforcement resources to enforce its own rules. And yet others worried that the "test officials" weren't test officials at all, but rather students from Nassau County's Great Neck High School in disguise.
Between all the sexting and standardized test doctoring, how are teens these days finding the time to get accidentally pregnant?
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