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Reuters: Students and teachers detail pervasive cheating in a program owned by test giant ACT

marvin100marvin100 Registered User Posts: 9,650 Senior Member
From Pulitzer winner Steve Stecklow:

http://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/college-cheating-act/
Reuters identified six GAC centers that violate the ACT’s own conflict-of-interest policy. The six centers administered the ACT while also offering commercial test-prep classes aimed at helping students score well on the college entrance exam. ACT policy prohibits test-prep businesses from administering the exam because doing so would give them an unparalleled ability to help their clients by leaking them the test.

At those locations – five in mainland China and one in South Korea – GAC operators had access to exam booklets days or weeks before the ACT was given.
The GAC program is also popular in South Korea, where six centers operate.

One is run at a Seoul test-prep center – known in Korean as a hagwon – called STEPEDU. Like many cram schools, STEPEDU offers classes to prepare for the ACT. Until last month, it also offered a bonus: the opportunity to take the ACT on site.

“We are running the world’s only ACT official test center in the private sector,” STEPEDU’s president, Sam Han, said at a May 28 conference for students interested in applying to U.S. colleges. “Many people are wondering how it is possible.”

According to Bryan Maach, an ACT vice president who oversees international markets, a hagwon shouldn’t have been permitted to give the exam. He told Reuters that places “engaged in commercial test prep are not allowed to be testing sites for us. And that’s been very consistent for many years.”

Maach said he couldn’t explain how STEPEDU was able to administer the ACT.

WAY worse than I'd ever imagined. WAY worse than Reuters' discoveries about SAT cheating.

This is truly horrifying.

Replies to: Reuters: Students and teachers detail pervasive cheating in a program owned by test giant ACT

  • suzyQ7suzyQ7 Registered User Posts: 3,647 Senior Member
    Wow, just wow
  • seokoujiseokouji Registered User Posts: 26 New Member
    Eh, the Holocaust is horrifying, slavery is horrifying, but not this which is nothing new. ACT/SAT has always been a scam.
  • marvin100marvin100 Registered User Posts: 9,650 Senior Member
    "Horrifying" is a subjective feeling, @seokouji , and "more cynical than thou" is hardly an impressive pose.
  • jgoggsjgoggs Registered User Posts: 230 Junior Member
    This is pretty damning stuff.

    Glad a real reporter is finally looking into it.
  • STEM2017STEM2017 Registered User Posts: 3,324 Senior Member
    Pervasive cheating in foreign countries to gain acceptance and possible scholarship money at American institutions?!?!? Who would have thought?
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 29,397 Senior Member
    edited July 2016
    I don't know if I can say what I'm thinking. But it goes along the lines of looking to countries which are more scrupulous with testing. And the rest of it.
  • VenomythVenomyth Registered User Posts: 56 Junior Member
    But the most remarkable aspect of this program is that the ACT itself owns and oversees it.
    ...Yeah that's pretty horrifying if the ACT knows about this and doesn't care because of the amount of money they're getting.


  • marvin100marvin100 Registered User Posts: 9,650 Senior Member
    edited July 2016
    STEM2017 wrote:
    Pervasive cheating in foreign countries to gain acceptance and possible scholarship money at American institutions?!?!? Who would have thought?

    If only it were just that--this is the ACT's prep arm in Asia, licensed and sanctioned by (and profitable to) the ACT itself.
    Post edited by skieurope on
  • markmeyesmarkmeyes Registered User Posts: 52 Junior Member
    Horrifying reporting, if you ask me.

    The article seems to suggest that the ACT itself was complicit in these wrongdoings, or rather allegations thereof, yet aside from the biased testimonies of disgruntled former teachers and students, was there actually any evidence of any type of cheating or fraudulent activities at any of these places?

    Is that what they award Pulitzer prizes for these days: misleading reporting/misrepresentation of the facts?
  • marvin100marvin100 Registered User Posts: 9,650 Senior Member
    edited July 2016
    @markmeyes - Here's the wrongdoing: The ACT itself was licensing test centers that are also test prep businesses.

    Places where students pay to increase their scores are receiving the exams in advance and then administering them. The fact that several people went on the record as having been given the exam beforehand is excellent evidence and evidence of excellent reporting. Where's the misleading/misrepresentation?
  • marvin100marvin100 Registered User Posts: 9,650 Senior Member
    Hmm, no response from a character who signed up just to slam the article and defend the shady, corrupt ACT...interesting...
This discussion has been closed.