Bill S2220-2013

Relates to pre and post test reporting requirements, test site registration and sign in, and establishes crime related to educational testing fraud

Relates to pre and post test reporting requirements, test site registration and sign in, and establishes crimes related to educational testing fraud.

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  • Jan 8, 2014: REFERRED TO HIGHER EDUCATION
  • Jan 14, 2013: REFERRED TO HIGHER EDUCATION

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S2220

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to pre and post test reporting requirements and test site registration and sign in; and to amend the penal law, in relation to establishing the crime of criminal facilitation of educational testing fraud

PURPOSE: To amend the education law to authorize testing agencies to temporarily suspend a standardized test score and turn a case over to proper authorities upon a finding that substantial evidence of test irregularity exists and to report such information to the test subject's home high school to require test subjects to provide certain forms of identification in order to sit for a standardized test and to amend the penal law to criminalize certain behavior in relation to cheating on an exam.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1: Amends section 340 of the education law to add four new definitions to Article 7A.

Section 2: Amends section 344 of the education law to clarify that test agencies can report the cancellation of a test pursuant to subdivision eight-a of section 344-b of the education law.

Section 3: Amends subdivision 3 of section 344-b of the education law to clarify that test agencies can report the cancellation of a test score.

Section 4: Amends section 344-b of the education law to add a new subdivision 5-a to authorize a test agency to temporarily suspend a test subject's score.

Section 5: Amends subdivision 6(c) and 7 of section 344-b of the education law to clarify that if a test agency temporarily suspends a test subject's test score and refers the case to the proper authorities, the test subject shall have an opportunity to make claims of innocents to the proper authorities.

Section 6: Amends section 344-b of the education law and adds two new sections, 8-a and 8-b in relation to temporary suspensions of test scores upon a finding of test irregularity, which leads the test agency to turn the case over to the proper authorities.

Section 7: Amends the education law to add a new section 344-d in relation to pre and post test reporting requirements and test site registration and sign in requirements.

Section 8: Amends the penal law to create the crime of criminal facilitation of educational testing fraud.

Section 9: Requires the test agencies who administer the SAT or ACT to report to the higher education committees in each house one year from the effective date of this act.

Section 10. Sets for the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION: This bill is necessary to create deterrents from cheating on post secondary standardized tests, to improve identification verification of those who take such exams in this state and to criminalize the facilitation of behaviors that rise to the level of criminal impersonation in relation to taking a standardized test.

In recent months, an SAT cheating scandal was discovered on Long Island. It was found that high school students were paying large sums of money to college students who falsified identifications and took the SATs for them. This scandal included up to 50 students, some of who were middle men who connected the impersonating test takers with the high school students who had the ability to pay up to $3,600 for another to take the exam for them.

The Senate Standing Committee on Higher Education held hearings on this issue in October of 2011. It was discovered that lax test site identification procedures and no test taker reporting requirements; along with test taker's due process rights under the education law, allowed such egregious conduct to occur. NYS law specifically delineates what a testing agency is allowed to do upon the discovery of cheating. There is nothing in relation to the regulation of standardized tests that would be a deterrent from cheating and there are no specific criminal penalties with regard to criminal facilitation of educational testing fraud.

This bill would amend the sections of the education law that prevent testing agencies from reporting to students' home high schools if a test score is cancelled due to the discovery that such student cheated. In addition, this bill creates reporting requirements and establishes the crime of criminal facilitation of educational testing fraud. This new crime will enable prosecutors to charge parents or guardians with criminal facilitation of educational testing fraud when they are providing the financial benefit for someone else to impersonate their child for the purposes of taking an undergraduate entrance exam. Such deterrents will go a long way to prevent cheating on standardized tests in the future.

With the increasing number of college applicants fighting for limited spots, getting into the college of your choice has become more and more competitive. Therefore, there has been increased importance placed a student's SAT or ACT score. When a student cheats, such behavior has the potential to displace honest, hard working students from the most competitive colleges. Students who didn't earn and don't deserve such coveted placements should not have this unfair advantage.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2012 S.7088

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to the State.

EFFECTIVE DATE; This act shall take effect on the first November next succeeding the date on which it shall have become law.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2220 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 14, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sen. LAVALLE -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Higher Education AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to pre and post test reporting requirements and test site registration and sign in; and to amend the penal law, in relation to establishing the crime of criminal facilitation of educational testing fraud THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 3 of section 340 of the education law, as amended by chapter 813 of the laws of 1980, is amended and five new subdivisions 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14 are added to read as follows: 3. "Test subject" means an individual to whom a test is administered OR AN INDIVIDUAL WHO HAS REGISTERED TO TAKE A TEST. 10. "HOME HIGH SCHOOL" MEANS THE HIGH SCHOOL AT WHICH A TEST SUBJECT IS OR WAS A MATRICULATED STUDENT AT THE TIME OF TESTING. 11. "TESTING SITE" MEANS ANY LOCATION WHERE A STANDARDIZED TEST IS ADMINISTERED TO A TEST SUBJECT. 12. "TEST SITE PERSONNEL" MEANS A PERSON PRESENT AT A TESTING SITE WHO SIGNS IN TEST SUBJECTS WHO ARE REGISTERED TO TAKE THE TEST AT THAT SITE AND WHO OVERSEES THE ADMINISTRATION OF A STANDARDIZED TEST. FOR PURPOSES OF THIS DEFINITION, TESTING SITE PERSONNEL MAY INCLUDE, BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO, A PROCTOR, TEST CENTER SUPERVISOR, ASSISTANT SUPERVISOR OR A ROOM PROCTOR. EACH MAY HAVE A DIFFERENT ROLE IN TEST ADMINISTRATION OVERSIGHT. 13. "ACCEPTABLE PHOTO IDENTIFICATION" MEANS A SCHOOL IDENTIFICATION CARD, A SCHOOL IDENTIFICATION FORM PREPARED BY THE HOME HIGH SCHOOL, A STATE-ISSUED DRIVER'S LICENSE, A STATE-ISSUED NON-DRIVER'S LICENSE, A PASSPORT, A MILITARY IDENTIFICATION CARD OR A GOVERNMENT ISSUED IDEN- TIFICATION CARD. THE PHOTOGRAPH ON ANY SUCH IDENTIFICATION CARD MUST BE A CURRENT REPRESENTATION OF THE TEST TAKER'S IMAGE.
14. "PHOTO ADMISSION TICKET" MEANS A TICKET ASSIGNED TO A TEST REGIS- TRANT, UPON REGISTERING TO TAKE THE ACT ASSESSMENT (ACT) OR WHICH IS PRODUCED BY THE TEST AGENCY ACCORDING TO SUCH AGENCY'S RULES, REGU- LATIONS OR PROTOCOLS. S 2. Section 344 of the education law is amended by adding a new clos- ing paragraph to read as follows: NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL BE CONSTRUED TO PREVENT THE TESTING AGENCY FROM REPORTING THE CANCELLATION OF A TEST SCORE PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION EIGHT-A OF SECTION THREE HUNDRED FORTY-FOUR-B OF THIS ARTI- CLE. S 3. Paragraph (e) of subdivision 3 of section 344-b of the education law, as added by chapter 845 of the laws of 1992, is amended to read as follows: (e) the potential consequences which may result from the investi- gation, such as withholding or invalidating the test score; OR REPORTING THE CANCELLATION OF SUCH SCORE TO THE TEST SUBJECT'S HOME HIGH SCHOOL; S 4. Section 344-b of the education law is amended by adding a new subdivision 5-a to read as follows: 5-A. (A) IF THE TEST AGENCY FINDS SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT A FINDING OF TEST IRREGULARITY, AND SUSPECTS THAT SUCH TEST SUBJECT'S CONDUCT ROSE TO THE LEVEL OF A CRIME, THE TEST AGENCY SHALL BE AUTHOR- IZED TO TEMPORARILY SUSPEND SUCH TEST SUBJECT'S SCORE AND TURN SUCH TEST SUBJECT'S CASE OVER TO THE PROPER AUTHORITIES. (B) AT SUCH TIME, THE TEST AGENCY SHALL NOTIFY THE TEST SUBJECT OF THE DECISION TO TURN OVER THE CASE, AND THE AUTHORITIES TO WHOM THE CASE HAS BEEN REFERRED. S 5. Subdivision 6 and paragraph (c) of subdivision 7 of section 344-b of the education law, as added by chapter 845 of the laws of 1992, are amended to read as follows: 6. The test subject shall have thirty days following receipt of the notice by registered mail to respond to the notice of inauthenticity or irregularity, PROVIDED HOWEVER, IF THE TEST AGENCY HAS TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED SUCH TEST PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION FIVE-A OF THIS SECTION, A TEST SUBJECT SHALL HAVE THE OPTION TO RAISE ANY CLAIM OR CLAIMS OF INNO- CENCE WITH THE PROPER AUTHORITIES ASSIGNED TO HIS OR HER CASE. (c) Nothing in this section precludes the parties from seeking resol- ution of the testing problems by either judicial review or arbitration. The test agency and the test subject shall make a good faith effort to complete an arbitration process in no more than thirty days after the election of such option, PROVIDED, HOWEVER, IF THE TEST AGENCY HAS TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED SUCH TEST PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION FIVE-A OF THIS SECTION, A TEST SUBJECT SHALL HAVE THE OPTION TO TAKE UP ANY CLAIMS OF INNOCENCE WITH THE PROPER AUTHORITIES ASSIGNED TO HIS OR HER CASE. S 6. Subdivision 8 of section 344-b of the education law, as added by chapter 845 of the laws of 1992, is amended and two new subdivisions 8-a and 8-b are added to read as follows: 8. The test agency shall not release confidential information to any authorized test score recipients regarding a test subject under pending investigation, unless authorized to do so by the test subject OR AUTHOR- IZED TO DO SO PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION EIGHT-A OF THIS SECTION. 8-A. WHEN A TEST AGENCY FINDS SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE EXISTS TO SUPPORT A FINDING OF TEST IRREGULARITY, WHICH LEADS SUCH AGENCY TO TURN A TEST SUBJECT'S CASE OVER TO THE PROPER AUTHORITIES, SUCH AGENCY SHALL BE AUTHORIZED TO TEMPORARILY SUSPEND A TEST SUBJECT'S SCORE AND SHALL INFORM THE TEST SUBJECT'S HOME HIGH SCHOOL OF THE DECISION TO TURN SUCH CASE OVER TO THE PROPER AUTHORITIES. IF THE TEST SUBJECT'S SCORE IS
SUBSEQUENTLY CANCELLED AND IT IS DETERMINED THAT THE TEST SUBJECT'S CONDUCT ROSE TO THE LEVEL OF A CRIME, THE TEST AGENCY SHALL INFORM SUCH TEST SUBJECT'S HOME HIGH SCHOOL. IF THE PROPER AUTHORITIES DETERMINE THAT THERE WAS NOT ENOUGH EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT A FINDING OF TEST IRREG- ULARITY OR CRIMINAL CONDUCT, THEN THE TEST AGENCY SHALL LIFT THE TEMPO- RARY SUSPENSION, REINSTATE THE TEST SUBJECT'S SCORE AND INFORM THE TEST SUBJECT'S HOME HIGH SCHOOL OF SUCH REINSTATEMENT. 8-B. ANY TEST SUBJECT WHOSE CASE HAS BEEN TURNED OVER TO THE PROPER AUTHORITIES AND IT IS FOUND THAT TEST IRREGULARITY DOES EXIST AND SUCH TEST SUBJECT'S CONDUCT ROSE TO THE LEVEL OF A CRIME, SUCH TEST SUBJECT SHALL NOT BE AUTHORIZED TO SIT FOR ANOTHER UNDERGRADUATE COLLEGE ADMIS- SIONS EXAM FOR ONE YEAR FROM THE DATE OF CONVICTION. S 7. The education law is amended by adding a new section 344-d to read as follows: S 344-D. PRE AND POST TEST REPORTING REQUIREMENTS AND TESTING SITE REGISTRATION AND SIGN IN REQUIREMENTS. 1. THIS SECTION SHALL ONLY APPLY TO UNDERGRADUATE COLLEGE ADMISSION EXAMS SUCH AS THE SAT OR THE ACT ASSESSMENT (ACT). 2. (A) UPON REGISTERING TO SIT FOR THE SAT OR ACT A TEST SUBJECT SHALL REPORT TO THEIR HOME HIGH SCHOOL THE TESTING SITE AT WHICH THEY ARE REGISTERED TO TAKE THE EXAM; (B) UPON COMPLETION OF THE EXAM AND RECEIPT OF THEIR SCORE, THE TEST SUBJECT MUST REPORT SUCH SCORE TO THEIR HOME HIGH SCHOOL. 3. IN ORDER FOR A TEST SUBJECT TO SIT FOR SAT OR ACT THE TEST SUBJECT UPON SIGN IN, MUST PROVIDE TO THE APPROPRIATE TEST SITE PERSONNEL AT THE TESTING SITE, THE FOLLOWING: (A) IF A TEST SUBJECT IS REGISTERED TO TAKE AND IS TAKING THE TEST AT THEIR HOME HIGH SCHOOL OR IF THE TEST SUBJECT IS REGISTERED TO TAKE THE EXAM AND IS TAKING THE EXAM AT A SITE THAT IS NOT THE TEST SUBJECT'S HOME HIGH SCHOOL, THE TEST SUBJECT MUST PROVIDE ONE FORM OF ACCEPTABLE PHOTO IDENTIFICATION AND A PHOTO ADMISSION TICKET. (B) A TEST SUBJECT MUST PRE-REGISTER TO TAKE THE EXAM AND MUST TAKE THE EXAM AT THE TESTING SITE AT WHICH THEY ARE REGISTERED. WALK-INS TO A DIFFERENT SITE SHALL NOT BE ALLOWED TO SIT FOR THE EXAM. 4. NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL BE CONSTRUED TO LIMIT ANY OTHER TEST DAY OR POST TEST DAY POLICIES AND PROCEDURES REQUIRED BY THE TEST AGEN- CY. S 8. The penal law is amended by adding a new section 170.80 to read as follows: S 170.80 CRIMINAL FACILITATION OF EDUCATIONAL TESTING FRAUD. A PERSON IS GUILTY OF CRIMINAL FACILITATION OF EDUCATIONAL TESTING FRAUD WHEN, WITH INTENT TO DEFRAUD, DECEIVE OR INJURE ANOTHER, HE OR SHE PROVIDES A BENEFIT TO ANOTHER PERSON TO ENTICE SUCH PERSON TO COMMIT THE CRIME OF CRIMINAL IMPERSONATION IN THE SECOND DEGREE IN VIOLATION OF SECTION 190.25 OF THIS TITLE BY IMPERSONATING ANOTHER PERSON AS A TEST SUBJECT OF A STANDARDIZED TEST AS THAT TERM IS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION THREE HUNDRED FORTY OF THE EDUCATION LAW AND THE PERSON BEING IMPERSONATED IS THE CHILD OF THE PERSON PROVIDING THE BENEFIT. CRIMINAL FACILITATION OF EDUCATIONAL TESTING FRAUD IS A CLASS E FELO- NY. S 9. Reporting. The test agencies administering the SAT and ACT shall report to the higher education committees in the senate and assembly one year from the effective date of this act. Any further reports shall be given upon request of either committee chair, after a reasonable time has been given for such test agencies to compile such report. Such report shall include but not be limited to:
(a) a review of current security procedures; (b) the number of cases of suspected test score irregularity; (c) the number of canceled test scores per year and the number of cases referred to the proper authorities; and (d) a review of test site personnel training procedures. S 10. This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law.

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