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ACT Testing Wrongly Accusing Cheating 2017


Replies to: ACT Testing Wrongly Accusing Cheating 2017

  • scholardadscholardad Registered User Posts: 114 Junior Member
    As a follow up to @sunset88 a judge in NJ just ruled today that the student can sue the ACT for damages after being accused of cheating. The judge found that the clause test-takers must sign giving up their rights to sue the testing company is “unconscionable” and “void as against public policy."

  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying Registered User Posts: 5,798 Senior Member
    Not sure how the signature of a minor would be valid for a decision involving legal outcomes. Some of these kids are 18, of course, but many aren't. How many 16 year olds sign up for the ACT/SAT? Lots.
  • cbmomcbmom Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    This is a big victory for many of us going through this same situation.We need to all band together to fight against this injustice for our kids who are being falsely accused!
  • TestrightsTestrights Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    An article I wrote 13 long years ago (google "Disputes with ETS") about SAT score challenges is still surprisingly accurate, and most (but not all) of it applies to ACT score review procedures. It gives a good global perspective on what's involved. Inspired by last week's excellent NJ court decision (on which I advised, along with FairTest), I'm working on a parallel article on the ACT system, addressing, among other issues, two factors on which I think ACT is particularly vulnerable: the 6+ month delay after the test for the student to receive ACT's first notice letter, and the onerous, one-sided arbitration Submission Agreement ACT requires. Arbitration, on occasion, serves a student well, but almost always it favors ACT, which is represented by counsel and has experts available.
  • Ghostie1Ghostie1 Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    An unintended consequence of the ACT's actions: A girl cheated on the ACT (admitted to us) and the ACT busted her - clear evidence. She got into our state flagship with some merit aid. She told the school the ACT was accusing her of cheating and she had no idea why. The school said that there have been so many "false positives" from the ACT on cheating, and that she should let them drop her score and her admission was guaranteed, as well as the scholarship (barring senioritis). I know her grades and prior scores and they were significantly below average at our state school.

    This is the problem with crying wolf.
  • WilsonTimesWilsonTimes Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    This is a problem the ACT has created itself. While I'm not in any way an expert on this, some of the biggest complaints about the ACT when they accuse someone of cheating is the delay in reporting it (six months or longer) and the bad supporting evidence in their incorrect seating charts. Students have been accused of cheating off of someone while not sitting next to each other or even in the same room.

    It would seem, possibly oversimplistc, that some solutions would be having students "sign off" on where they were sitting (seat number) on a standard seating chart, and/or giving out different versions of the same test. Each version could have the same questions in the same order on every test (for consistency and fairness) but 'shuffle' the possible answers on each version. When the people around you have different versions, cheating by looking over your shoulder, or right or left, to someone else's answer key would offer no benefit.

    But back to the first point, they brought this on themselves by waiting so long to notify students of discrepancies on their score sheets and then really having no - or inaccurate - seating chart documentation.

    Does the SAT have the same issues?
  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying Registered User Posts: 5,798 Senior Member
    @WilsonTimes - No, not based on the recent case we've been seeing in the press. ETS flags you within the two weeks of waiting for your scores, notifies you that you have a score hold, then they do an investigation and notify you within two months that they will not release. It's much quicker.

    It's almost as if ACT is showing bad-will by holding onto your score until you are about to graduate. They are either super lazy by doing their investigations after score release or they are unfairly playing hardball by forcing a re-take so that the student can go on to college (much less expensive than continued arbitration). It really appears to be nasty.
  • WilsonTimesWilsonTimes Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    @JBStillFlying - Thanks for the info.

    If the SAT is able to notify students within two weeks, then there's just no excuse for the ACT.
    I'm incredulous about a lot of what I read on this thread, but one thing that I just can't fathom is when I read stories where the ACT's "evidence" is an incorrect seating chart. If you can't produce an accurate seating chart .........

    You are correct in that the ACT is either just lazy or nasty.
  • WilliamsmaggieWilliamsmaggie Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    My son has just received ACT letter of cheating, we are going to pick option 3, he did not cheat, he has already been awarded a scholarship to his dream college and risk losing, because ACT states too many similar right and wrong answers and too much improvement from last test! This is his Senior year!
    Any ways to join protest against ACT method of ruining young people's opportunity to a college degree, I am on board.
    He has worked hard for his education!
    Euless TX
  • ads1970ads1970 Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    ACT is awful! @Williamsmaggie my son received the same letter 7 months after the test. He is also a senior. We sent in documentation in December supporting his increased score and letters from teachers. ACT security did not accept this! We are now requesting documents from them and wanting to move towards arbitration, but most on here have said that the students usually lose arbitration. This is so stressful!
  • BobSchaeffBobSchaeff Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    Yes, within the past year FairTest has dealt with cases in which SAT scores were released to the student on the normal scheduled but challenged months later.
  • ads1970ads1970 Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    @CALKYmom I would really love to hear more about your experience winning arbitration. Any guidance is much appreciated!!
  • TestrightsTestrights Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    Curiosity about folks who win ACT arbitrations is understandable, but there's a problem - probably everyone to date has signed an ACT arbitration submission agreement requiring confidentiality of ACT's filings, so very little information is available. No one should sign ACT's Submission Agreement without getting competent advice on their options, which depends upon the facts of each case; furthermore, cases are different enough that any one winning case would likely provide limited guidance on any other case even without the confidentiality impediment. Winning these cases tends to involve attacking ACT's analysis based upon the facts that are contained in ACT's file, which many folks don't even request to see. Unfortunately, many people seek a simplicity that just can't be found in ACT score reviews, in my experience.
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