I would like to reach as many parents, students or teachers who have ever experienced a student being falsely accused of cheating by ACT, Inc. This is a huge issue that is impacting students all over the country. I want to not only spread the word but also bring awareness in hopes to stop the ACT organization from falsely accusing students. Please read my story. Share your comments, post on FB or anywhere that can spread this message.
Yes, my daughter was falsely accused of cheating on her ACT test. Not once, but twice. We now have 5 weeks before she graduates, so my efforts here are not to change anything for her, but for students who may follow in her circumstances. After researching, I have found others over the years with similar stories. I feel we need a louder voice to stop this unjustified practice.
My daughter is ***. She is a Senior at *** High School in Utah. Last week she received a letter from the ACT Test Security department accusing her of cheating on her last two ACT tests. Thus, we have chosen the third option which is to appeal this accusation and attempt to prove that she did not cheat by submitting letters and documentation proving her efforts, academic accomplishments and character. Initially I encouraged *** to contact the ACT security department directly to teach her the value in facing challenges head on. When she spoke to the representative she was told that there is nothing she can do but follow the directions on the letter. At the time of her call they went over her test scores and discovered that the scores in the letter she got did not match the scored in their system. Although they had on record two scores from 2015 (20 and 17) and two scores from 2016 (25 and 28) the letter and scores provided to my daughter for 2016 tests were 25 and 25. After discussing this and recalculating, the gentleman acknowledged that in fact there was an error in their system and the scores of 17,20,25 & 25 were the correct scores. It is my understanding that this has since been corrected in the system. My concern is that mistakes happen, as with this example and yet we still must prove her innocence. I have attempted to contact the security department three times. I have never received a call back, which is why I am taking the effort to reach out to you to make a plea for not just my daughter but for all students that earned their ACT scores. I am not just a protective parent taking the approach that my daughter can do no wrong. I understand that cheating happens and I believe in holding people accountable for their actions.Here are some of her successfully earned recognition:
· 2016 National Society of High School Scholars Award
· 2016 Officer of the FFA,
· 2015-2016 Earned Approved Veterinary Assistant certification from Salt Lake Community College during her junior year through the JATC program, offered at
· 2013-2014 National Junior Honor Society
· 2014 President’s Education Award for Outstanding Academic Excellence signed by the President of the United States, Barack Obama and the U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan
· 2012-2016 maintained a 3.5+ GPA Honor Roll every semester of every year
has already completed 6 concurrent enrollment classes through Salt Lake Community College and is currently taking 4 additional during this final semester. Students are required to meet a higher standard to enroll in these classes. She continues to maintain a 3.589 GPA and will be a semester ahead towards her Associates Degree by the time she graduates high school.
has earned scholarship opportunities at several universities of which she has applied for. Her plans are to attend either Utah Valley University or the University of Utah College of Nursing.
has also received letters from the Principle of **High School, Sandy, UT, regarding the October and December 2016 ACT tests that were taken at his school, as testing rooms do not have cameras and he was told by ACT Test Security department that letters from the test proctors are not accepted. He confirms that he met with the ACT coordinator, who verified that there were no irregularities or cheating reported by the test proctor on either of the October or December test dates. In addition,
received letters from her teachers, counselor, assistant principle and the Salt Lake Community College coordinator, all who have worked directly with
throughout her junior and senior year in preparation for each ACT test that she has taken.
I cannot answer to why the test results revealed identical answers to other tests taken that day, no more than you can answer to the lack of proof that
or another student cheated. However, I would like to ask that you please reconsider the allegation of cheating against
. She has clearly taken full ownership and responsibility of her education and has sacrificed to dedicate her commitment towards her education and her future. She earned her ACT scores and deserves the credit and recognition for her efforts. Not to end her high school graduation, being labeled as a cheater by one of the largest, impactful organizations in our educational system.
This letter was acknowledged and we had a 2 hour phone conference with the manager over the Security Department, who reviews the test scores. We chose to record the call. ACT manager admitted that they base their accusations on the statistics and computer generated reports. They admitted they do not have proof or any reports of cheating from the test proctors. The test centers, where both test were taken did not have cameras. They confirmed that the other students that they claim she cheated off of we not being reviewed or investigated. Still they made my daughter go through the options provided ( lose the score, re-test, or appeal). We chose to appeal. We sent in letters from her teachers, college professors, counselor, principle and the principle of the test center school. In addition we sent in her report cards, academic accomplishments and practice tests taken to prepare her. I also requested copies of the test packet and answer sheet of the student they claim she cheated from and the seating charts and proctor reports. After receiving these we discovered the other students test packets were blank. No math work reflected. The seating charts were inaccurate and did not demonstrate the skipped rows and alternate desks. Her placement in the rows were correct. After almost 8 weeks we received a letter that the review panel has denied her appeal and dropped her last two scores of 25. Although, devastated, my daughter is now preparing to take the test again instead of going through arbitration since she only has 5 weeks until graduation. BUT - if she scores higher on this next test, ACT will not grant her the higher score. They will only reinstate her 25. Anything above a 25 will not be given to her.
This is a horribly flawed process. On behalf of all the parents that are faced with going through the anxiety and frustration of defending the integrity of their children, and on behalf of all the students that worked so hard on their education and towards improving their ACT scores, I hope that this letter has brought awareness to you of the impact that these allegations have. And to please consider that statistics do not prove or justify accusing a student of cheating. The message ACT is sending these young adults is that they are guilty until proven innocent, yet the ACT Headquarters does not have any proof to validate such harmful claims.
I would love to put a stop to this for all students that work hard and earn their results and end with a false accusation such as this. PLEASE PLEASE help me spread this. Thank you all in advance.