FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – The college admissions scandal exposed more than fake athletes and corrupt coaches. The scheme, which netted numerous high-profile arrests, also highlighted corruption within the testing process that affects millions of students each year.
But just how much do you know about the organization in charge of the SAT or ACT?
College admissions testing is a billion-dollar industry shrouded in secrecy with no way for parents or students to find out about complaints or problems.
Beyond the celebrities and the arrests are the tests and the students who take them.
“It’s a sham that strikes at the core of the college admissions process at universities across the country,” said Joe Bonavolonta, special agent in-charge of the Boston field office of the FBI.
Approximately 2,000,000 high school students sit for the SAT each year, spending time and money in hopes of a score that will get them into the college of their dreams.
A nonprofit known as The College Board administers the exams worldwide. Three of its administrators and proctors were charged in “Operation Varsity Blues.”
Prosecutors argued students would fly from all over the country to Houston and Los Angeles where the proctors would help them cheat.
Proctoring is typically a part-time job. Most positions advertised online require little more than a high school diploma and an ability to multitask.
But troubles during testing such as cheating or security violations are kept confidential.
If there is an issue, proctors fill out an irregularity report, according to a spokesman for the College Board.
But the entity refused to state how many reports have been filed in North Texas, or how many complaints have been filed against proctors.
The lack of transparency is frustrating for parents on the College Board’s Facebook page.
One test taker wrote on the page that their score “was delayed and we missed deadlines because of a ‘standard review process that couldn’t be disclosed to maintain the integrity and security of the test.'”
Another commenter wrote, “I have spent over $600 on College Board expenses over the past three years on testing, score reports and score sends. I expect more.”
A College Board spokesman says they don’t release details for “privacy and security reasons.”
This is not the first time the organization has dealt with issues with organized cheating. Smaller rings were busted in 2011 and 2015.
The ACT follows similar policies and does not release information.
“Test center coordinators fill out detailed reports after each test date, and file them with ACT. We do not release those reports. Likewise, students can file reports about their test day experience (including any problems or concerns they have about their test center) by at this link and are always welcome to contact us by phone or email as well.”
Every report is investigated and taken seriously,” said Tarah DeSousa, a spokeswoman for the ACT.