From McGill DailyTAYLOR HOLROYDPublished on January 26, 2012A recent expose in the New York Times has uncovered an SAT cheating ring in the United States. Five students from different high schools in Nassau County in Long Island, New York were paid up to $3,600 to take the tests for 15 other students. These were students who wanted to get into university but had low test scores, below-average marks, unembellished resumes, and, perhaps most importantly, the ability to pay the high price that these test takers charge. The 15 students who hired the test-takers have now been charged with summary conviction offences, while the five test-takers have been charged with indictable offences. The crimes were uncovered when a student at Great Neck North High School confided to a guidance counselor that someone was being paid to take the SAT for others. The principal of the school compared student’s GPA to SAT scores and noticed discrepancies for multiple students, particularly those who had taken the SAT at a different school so they would not be recognized. The students were arrested in September of 2011, but they were not charged until December. The school administration found it difficult to prove that cheating had occurred because College Board, the company that administers the tests, was reluctant to release information about the students. At the centre of the scandal is Samuel Eshaghoff, a 2010 graduate of Great Neck North High School in Long Island, who allegedly took the SAT or ACT for fifteen other students over the course of three years, guaranteeing his clients high enough scores to gain university acceptances. Eshaghoff – now a student at Emory University in Atlanta – will not face criminal charges for his acts. In lieu of a prison sentence, he has been sentenced to tutor underprivileged youth on their SATS. Eshaghoff admitted that while his family is wealthy, they are currently in financial and personal distress, which might explain the motivation behind his willingness to take the tests for other high school students. Eshaghoff also revealed “altruistic” intentions in the 60 Minutes episode when he described himself as “saving someone’s life” by taking the test for them. “I mean, a kid who has a horrible grade-point average, who – no matter how much he studies – is gonna totally bomb this test, by giving him an amazing score, I totally give him this . . . new lease on life. He’s gonna go to a totally new college. He’s gonna be bound for a totally new career and a totally new path on life.”
The NY kids who cheated on the SAT by hiring someone to take the test for them have already been punished, but this Eshagoff kid should be kicked out of Emory. How is it that he got away free on this? Oh yeah, he has to “tutor” underprivileged kids on taking the SAT. “Look kid, just find a wicked smart kid and pay him a couple of grand, and you are off to Harvard.”
Here are all of my friends, classmates and me, taking SAT classes up the wazoo and he’s helping kids to cheat on the test and not getting punished for it. That is BS.
Hopefully “altruistic” doesn’t show up on my SAT this weekend. If one of the choices is “explanation offered by a scumbag to deflect criticism for trying to dishonestly make money,” I might choose that as an answer.