MINEOLA - Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice, along with College Board and ACT officials, announced today new security measures in the aftermath of the recent SAT cheating scandal.
Last year, 20 current and former students from five Nassau County schools were arrested. Officials say handwriting samples taken from the tests allowed them to identify the suspected cheaters.
According to officials, the exam takers showed up at the test sites with fake IDs, pretending to be the students who registered for the exam. Rice says the investigation exposed gaping holes in the test-taking system that allowed students to cheat and get away with it.
Officials announced that beginning next fall, all students who register for the ACT or SAT will be required to upload a photograph of themselves. In the past, students were required to present only a photo ID when they arrived for the test.
Rice says the uploaded photo will be printed on students' test admission tickets, alongside their date of birth, their gender and the name of the high school they attend. In addition, the photo will accompany score reports, remain in the database and will also be compared with a student's photo ID upon arrival at the test center.
Rice says it will be up to high school guidance counselors to do the final check and make sure the photo on the test results is actually the student they know.
Donna Cooke, the director of guidance and career education at the Middle Country Central School District, says despite some concerns, she welcomes added security measures. She just hopes the College Board and ACT lay out specific protocols on when to check the test results.
Rice says both the College Board and ACT have committed to not passing the cost of implementing the new measures onto the test takers.
For the press conference announcing the new security measures for college entrance exams, go to your digital cable box and select iO Extra on Ch. 612.
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