Question Of The Day: '60 Minutes' SAT Scandal Coverage

Did you see the program? What did you think?

On Sunday, "60 Minutes" featured "The Perfect Score: Cheating on the SAT," covering the recent stories that rocked . The program included interviews with Sam Eshaghoff, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice and Educational Testing Service President Kurt Landgraf.

If you missed the episode, see the full interview here

The interview examined the integrity and security of the SAT and how easy some say it is for a person to take the test for another. It also pointed to a system of brokers connecting buyers and sellers of test-taking services.

According to "60 Minutes," Eshaghoff will tutor low-income students on taking the SAT, as part of a plea deal.

"We know there are kids in college right now who got where they are because of tests that someone else took and there's nothing that we can do about it," Rice told "60 Minutes." "If that doesn't tell you that the system has to change, I don't know what does."

Did you watch the episode? Did any of it surprise you?

Nassau Taxpayer January 03, 2012 at 07:22 PM
The entire episode, the test-cheat's and beneficiaries' attitudes, ETS' "non-response" response, and Rice's give-away "plea deal" are all equally pathetic. The perp-tester should have done time, the perp-beneficiaries should have had their acceptances rescinded, and ETS deserves to be broken up.
Jacquie Walter January 03, 2012 at 07:42 PM
Glorified the crime and made "the system" the culprit...integrity and ethics are things of the past, along with honesty and hard work...too bad there is no test for that! As the parent of four high school students, I have just one question...where are the parents of these kids? Last time I checked, parents are still the first-line educators of the kids! They should be held accountable FIRST!
Nassau Taxpayer January 03, 2012 at 07:50 PM
Eliminate ETS as the gatekeeper and kid-list seller, and the test prep industry goes with it. Good riddance to both.
Nassau Taxpayer January 03, 2012 at 10:56 PM
Eliminate ETS as the gatekeeper and kid-list seller, and the test prep industry goes with it. Good riddance to both.
Jonathan Schechner January 04, 2012 at 01:07 AM
Although I think what the students did here is deplorable, in my mind how exactly is this cheating scandal different from parents paying for their children to take an SAT class (many of which cost upwards of 2,000), or to hire a tutor in order to learn to take the SATs? Both the classes and the tutor sessions don't teach content, but rather teach *how* to take the exam. And often those parents go further by hiring a councilor or coach for the admissions process telling high school students exactly what to write in their applications. People can dress it up any way they want, but really however you look at it, it is an unfair advantage for those who can pay.
Nassau Taxpayer January 04, 2012 at 12:04 PM
There is a simple distinction: Privilege versus FRAUD. "Unfair advantage" is endemic, not limited to testing. Test-taking for hire is illegal. Want to end this problem? End ETS (and ACT). That will end the "test prep" industry. Both testing and "prep" scourges need to go away, having turned into little but fee mills, adding little to no content or learning value.
Ben January 04, 2012 at 12:59 PM
I would think all the students involved here went on to college to continue to cheat? And when they graduate they will continue to cheat in the workplace, the IRS, insurance companys, etc. Regretfully cheating, lies, theft are a part of life. I dont like this either but it is what it is.
fred January 04, 2012 at 01:59 PM
These kids are a reflection of our society. We don't ask "how" just "how much"!!
Nassau Taxpayer January 04, 2012 at 02:09 PM
That, and "just don't get caught".
Adina Genn (Editor) January 04, 2012 at 04:02 PM
Ironically, the test initially was thought to measure pure intelligence, regardless of one's educational background. Read more here http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/sats/where/history.html
Nassau Taxpayer January 04, 2012 at 04:17 PM
Now it's a fee factory: Not For Profit College Board Getting Rich as Fees Hit Students http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-08-18/not-for-profit-college-board-getting-rich-as-fees-hit-students.html http://professionals.collegeboard.com/higher-ed/recruitment/sss "Student Search Service® (SSS) is a powerful, economical student search tool that allows you to reach qualified, college-bound prospects of all backgrounds. With SSS, you can shape your incoming class by conducting customized searches at any time and effectively reach students by mail or email with targeted communications. Colleges, universities and non-profit scholarship organizations use SSS to: * Increase diversity * Widen geographic representation * Invite qualified students to apply for specific majors or honors * Reach prospective students through customized, accurate mail and email lists defined by several variables, including: o Geography o Ethnicity o Financial aid plans o GPA o SAT®, PSAT/NMSQT®, AP®, SAT Subject Tests™, and PSSS score ranges o Intended major o Religious preference o Activities and sports, and more... Since its launch in 1972, SSS has grown to become the largest, most effective recruiting and admissions search tool in higher education today. Each year more than 6.5 million students—5.1 million with email addresses—and 1,100+ colleges and universities participate in SSS."
Terri H. January 04, 2012 at 10:35 PM
I think the lesson here is how much value we put on one test. These kids futures are judged by, what amounts to, a snapshot of their academic abilities. There are many kids who are great students and terrible test takers and many kids whom are awful students but terrific test takers. These kids should be judged by their over-all performance in school over a period of time, NOT by a single test taken in a single day !! We need to do away with this ridiculous testing and start teaching our kids to use their brains instead of memorizing stuff to pass tests. If you want to test, lets use the results to judge the teachers and how well they are or are not doing their jobs. We need to start judging OUR FUTURE by the whole person that they are, NOT by a snapshot taken in a millisecond of their lives.
Ben January 04, 2012 at 11:06 PM
@ Terri H. The SAT is not a difficult test. There is nothing wrong with the SAT. This test illustrates a students aptitude so he or she may be placed appropriatly it is a multiple choice test the student who masters the skill of the process of elimination does well.
Bob Shane January 04, 2012 at 11:33 PM
The first thing that came to my mind was why would an otherwise smart kid go on "60 Minutes" -- with no benefit to him at all -- and, perhaps, compromise his plea deal in the process?
vinny dinussi January 05, 2012 at 07:08 PM
If the kids who do poorly on the SATs also do poorly in college, there's the connection that suggests the test is valid if not perfect in determing future performance. I know it's difficult for parents to accept this, but not all kids are college material and the idea that everyone deserves and is entitled to a college education is nonsense. Society needs to maintain a culture based on meritocracy if it wants to endure, not some utopian view that everyone is equal therefore everyone should share equally.
Terri H. January 06, 2012 at 02:35 AM
@ Ben - I am not judging the difficulty (or lack thereof) of the test, I am saying that the future of these kids is being judged by a snapshot. My children all did very well on the SAT's so my comments are not "sour grapes". I think you need more than a millisecond to form an opinion of someone and decide their future.
vinny dinussi January 16, 2012 at 04:05 PM
Terri, the test doesn't decide their future. Their future is decided by them and them alone. Life isn't fair. Judging means some win and some don't. It's true in sports and it's true in life. A low score doesn't mean they're denied a college education, although in some cases, I'm sure it should.


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