SAT Cheating Should Be a Crime: NY Bill

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on January 31, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

In response to last year's SAT cheating scandal, state Senator Kenneth LaValle has proposed a bill that would make cheating on the SAT a felony in New York.

If passed, the SAT cheating bill would formally criminalize the "facilitation of education testing fraud" and "scheming to defraud educational testing." Such a law would punish students who pay an impersonator and the impersonators themselves.

Can New York do this?

If you recall, the students involved in the Long Island cheating scandal were charged with a bevy of crimes, including falsifying business records and fraud. There doesn't appear to be anything preventing the state from further criminalizing SAT cheating. It's already a crime.

However, the SAT cheating bill also calls for increased security measures, including photo identification and fingerprinting. The state may have problems forcing The College Board, which administers the SAT, to increase security.

The College Board is "not a law enforcement agency," Tom Rudin, a senior vice president, told state legislators. And the state may not be able to make it act like one.

Legislation becomes more complicated when it involves a corporation's internal procedures. And when that corporation deals with universities in all 50 states, it may actually be the federal government that is in charge. Congress is the only entity tasked with regulating interstate commerce.

The College Board may fight such requirements, too. New procedures could be costly, and they probably wouldn't make a difference.

Rudin told legislators that the SAT cheating bill ignores reality. Most cheating involves wandering eyes and cell phones -- not impersonators.

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