SAT Cheating Probe Expands to LI Yeshiva - NBC New York

SAT Cheating Probe Expands to LI Yeshiva

So far, at least 35 students at five Long Island high schools have been implicated in the cheating ring.



    Education officials outlined the new rules that are being considered in the wake of a cheating scandal on Long Island. (Published Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2011)

    New York authorities say their inquiry into alleged SAT cheating has expanded to include 35 students at five Long Island high schools, including two students at a Great Neck yeshiva.

    Two students at the North Shore Hebrew Academy are suspected of paying someone to take their tests for them in hopes of getting higher scores. The principal of the high school, Daniel Vitow, told the New York Post authorities have subpoenaed their SAT records.

    Vitow told the paper because his school's so small, he's pretty sure the students in question had the alleged impersonators take the exam at a different school, which is currently allowed under Educational Testing Service policy. That, the principal said, should be changed.

    "The problem is, the kids can go to any test center," he told the Post. "The solution is simple -- take the SAT in your own school."

    The probe has also widened to include the ACT college entrance exam, and they expect further arrests.     

    John Byrne, a spokesman for the Nassau County district attorney, says investigators have not yet determined the number of people who will be arrested.     

    Some individuals may get off because of a two-year statue of limitations for hiring a stand-in. A five-year statue of limitations exists for felony scheme to defraud, which Byrne said may apply to those hired to take the tests.

    Byrne tells The New York Times that the ACT appears to be "plagued by the same security vulnerabilities as the SAT.''     

    ACT spokesman Scott Gomer said the company does not release data on charges of cheating.   

    The SAT probe has resulted in the arrest of seven current or former students at Great Neck North High School.

    Authorities said six of the students had an older college student who had attended the high school take their exams in their place in a quest for better scores.

    In one case, the accused impersonator, 19-year-old Samuel Eshaghoff, allegedly posed as a female during one of the tests. Eshaghoff also is accused of accepting payments of up to $2,500 for taking the tests. He and the other six, who are accused of misdemeanors, have all pleaded not guilty.