Monday, August 8, 2016

CURMUDGUCATION: Reuters: SAT, ACT, and Test Insecurity

CURMUDGUCATION: Reuters: SAT, ACT, and Test Insecurity:

Reuters: SAT, ACT, and Test Insecurity

A Reuters investigative team has been taking a look at the ACT and SAT testing industry, and finding a huge mess. We had already seen hints of the problems with, among other things, whistleblowing posts from SAT insider Manuel Alfaro. But this Reuters series, now at five articles plus sidebars, is sort of jawdropping.

The articles have maintained a remarkably low profile, so I'm going to give you links to all five with a short peek at each so you can pick and choose your faves. Bookmark this-- it may take you a while to work through all of these, but it's worth it.

Part One: Multiple Choices

Turns out the SAT has been breached, big-time and many times, overseas. And the College Board knew it. And they went ahead and used the compromised tests anyway. These "content thefts" is eastern Asia are a huge part of that regions test prep industry. Further, the investigation shows that the College Board knew that a Chinese website was the source of much leakage, but they still failed to limit seatings at Chinese administrations of the test (it would have cost them over a million dollars in revenue). Most interesting takeaway here-- the highly compromised nature of the SAT in Asia suggests that US students might be losing out on college spots to Asian students who have cheated for high SAT scores. And you know it's bad when the ever-hubristic David Coleman chooses not to comment.

Part Two: Cheat Sheet

Security for the new SATs released in March lasted roughly five minutes. The traditional low-tech solutions were used, of course-- test prep companies waiting outside test sites to ask students what was one the test. The internet was also not kind to SAT security. But the College Board's antiquated and long-porous security measures also buckled immediately. Chinese tipsters showed Reuters whole chunks of the test that had been hacked from College Board's computers. This is particularly 
CURMUDGUCATION: Reuters: SAT, ACT, and Test Insecurity:

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