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Old 4th January 2019, 12:45 PM   #81
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
Also, why would the family hire a lawyer before any allegations have even been made? Legally speaking it makes no sense, because no action can yet be taken. It's almost if they want to head off at the pass any investigation by the board and pressure them into relenting and awarding the marks. Now why would this be? If I had been told my work was under investigation for cheating the very first thing I'd want is for the investigation to go ahead, and fast.
The exact allegation has not been made, but something has been alleged for sure - that the results are at least suspicious. She's under investigation for cheating, not for using a dull pencil, and that has resulted in the withholding of results, which, we're told, is hurting her in the admissions process.

Of course, as often, how you see this depends a little on what presumptions you start with. A person who starts with a strong suspicion of cheating might well conclude that the premature hiring of a lawyer is suspicious, and that may well be the case. If you were a cheater, that's likely what you'd do. But a person who presumes that the student knows very well that she did not cheat, and suspects that she is being unfairly treated, to her detriment in getting into college, might well want to hire a lawyer fast too. We have to beware of conclusion in reverse. Saying if you were guilty you'd act in some way or another is not a strong argument for guilt.

Again it depends a little on how you see things at the start. One person might say hiring a lawyer slows down the investigation, and that may well be true if the investigation is in good faith, and if precedent suggests that they are reasonably efficient. But of course if you think otherwise, it's also possible to suggest that a slow investigation, like a nuisance lawsuit, can achieve negative results simply from happening at all, and that delay in pronouncing innocence is insufficient.

e.t.a. and of course we must also allow for the possibility that the student did not cheat, that the college board is acting properly and cautiously, and that the student and her parents are nonetheless acting badly.

Until we know a little more, we're guessing, and doing so at least in some degree on the basis of scanty information and presumption.

Your presumption may well be right, but it's a bit soon to say.
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Old 4th January 2019, 12:58 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
The exact allegation has not been made, but something has been alleged for sure - that the results are at least suspicious. She's under investigation for cheating, not for using a dull pencil, and that has resulted in the withholding of results, which, we're told, is hurting her in the admissions process.
Indeed. I can't see an issue with that, as long as they conduct the investigation in a transparent and timely fashion.

Originally Posted by bruto View Post
Of course, as often, how you see this depends a little on what presumptions you start with. A person who starts with a strong suspicion of cheating might well conclude that the premature hiring of a lawyer is suspicious, and that may well be the case. If you were a cheater, that's likely what you'd do. But a person who presumes that the student knows very well that she did not cheat, and suspects that she is being unfairly treated, to her detriment in getting into college, might well want to hire a lawyer fast too. We have to beware of conclusion in reverse. Saying if you were guilty you'd act in some way or another is not a strong argument for guilt.
Hiring a lawyer is not necessarily a big thing. Hiring this lawyer is. Why on earth would they specifically hire the US's foremost black civil rights lawyer, who specialises in representing black people wronged by white people (almost always resulting in their death, it has to be said), because of an allegation of cheating in an exam? Why not hire a lawyer, black or white, who specialises in education or workplace issues?

Originally Posted by bruto View Post
Again it depends a little on how you see things at the start. One person might say hiring a lawyer slows down the investigation, and that may well be true if the investigation is in good faith, and if precedent suggests that they are reasonably efficient. But of course if you think otherwise, it's also possible to suggest that a slow investigation, like a nuisance lawsuit, can achieve negative results simply from happening at all, and that delay in pronouncing innocence is insufficient.

e.t.a. and of course we must also allow for the possibility that the student did not cheat, that the college board is acting properly and cautiously, and that the student and her parents are nonetheless acting badly.

Until we know a little more, we're guessing, and doing so at least in some degree on the basis of scanty information and presumption.

Your presumption may well be right, but it's a bit soon to say.
Well, I've not said she cheated, but it would surprise me if she had not. What I do know is that this Board will have to clench their arse cheeks if their investigation does reveal cheating, because with a lawyer of that stature behind the family they will likely face some serious backlash.

Last edited by baron; 4th January 2019 at 12:59 PM.
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Old 4th January 2019, 01:07 PM   #83
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Meh, seems to me if they had some pre-existing policy that said something like:
A. If a score improves by X% then we'll flag it and take a look
B. If we x% of the wrong answers of a person in a location match those at the same test location then we'll flag and take a look.

It sucks for her but I'm not sure what kind of legal case she'll have.

I tend to agree with JoeM, the real problem is the effective monopoly SAT has on college admissions exams.
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Old 4th January 2019, 01:09 PM   #84
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I remember issues being raised in the past about SAT questions relying on existing vocabulary, environment, or social class rather than actual aptitude. For example, completing an analogy when one of the words was sculling.


This also reminds me of the situation at the end of the movie "Stand and Deliver". A high school class with no mathematics background all learned AP Calculus the same way, and they were accused of cheating on the test because they all made the same mistakes.

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Old 4th January 2019, 02:40 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Mastering a new body of knowledge is different from having an innate skill.
Well I wasn't born with a calculator in my head. Calculus is a new body of knowledge.
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Old 4th January 2019, 03:21 PM   #86
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Well I wasn't born with a calculator in my head. Calculus is a new body of knowledge.
And the facility with which you acquired and applied it is an aptitude.

Some things come easier to some people than to others. We have aptitude tests to try to gauge how easily a particular thing will come to you.

Earlier I gave the example of the Defense Language Aptitude Battery. Almost anyone can learn a foreign language, given enough time and effort and teacher support. But the military can't afford to just teach everyone foreign languages. So before they bother investing in your learning a foreign language, they test you to determine if you'll have enough facility with the process to make it worth the investment. If not, they find other work that's more in line with your aptitudes, that's worth training you to do.
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Old 4th January 2019, 05:00 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
The delay has negative consequences for her, she can't complete her college applications without the score and those applications have deadlines.
Yes, I said exactly the same thing in the post you quoted.
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Old 4th January 2019, 05:05 PM   #88
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Well I wasn't born with a calculator in my head.
You were born without a brain?
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Old 4th January 2019, 11:55 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Unless you can show otherwise, the article (https://edition.cnn.com/2019/01/02/u...rsy/index.html) says no such thing.
From the article:

Quote:
A score is never flagged for review solely on score gains, said Zach Goldberg, a spokesman for The College Board, the company that conducts the SAT. Indeed, score gains are celebrated.
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Old 5th January 2019, 12:05 AM   #90
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Originally Posted by Armitage72 View Post
I remember issues being raised in the past about SAT questions relying on existing vocabulary, environment, or social class rather than actual aptitude. For example, completing an analogy when one of the words was sculling.


This also reminds me of the situation at the end of the movie "Stand and Deliver". A high school class with no mathematics background all learned AP Calculus the same way, and they were accused of cheating on the test because they all made the same mistakes.
And according to Wikipedia there is a simple explanation: they cheated on that question (poorly):

Quote:
Ten of the students signed waivers to allow the College Board to show their exam parts to Jay Mathews, the author of Escalante: The Best Teacher in America. Mathews found that nine of them had made "identical silly mistakes" on free response question 6. Mathews heard from two of the students that during the exam, a piece of paper had been passed around with that flawed solution
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Old 5th January 2019, 12:10 AM   #91
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Originally Posted by Elagabalus View Post
The article also states that they are currently reviewing the scores not that have refused to accept them as poster Brainster claims.
It is clear from the letter they sent that they are not ready to accept her score as valid currently.
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Old 5th January 2019, 12:40 AM   #92
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Why does it take them so long to review her results, surely it's something that could done literally in a few hours these days?
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Old 5th January 2019, 02:34 AM   #93
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Why does it take them so long to review her results, surely it's something that could done literally in a few hours these days?
I am guessing that "reviewing" is a euphemism for declining to certify.
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Old 5th January 2019, 04:24 AM   #94
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Why does it take them so long to review her results, surely it's something that could done literally in a few hours these days?
I'd guess they have found clear similarities between her paper and others and are looking into how that could come about, if how far beyond chance those similarities are.
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Old 9th January 2019, 06:50 AM   #95
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Originally Posted by applecorped View Post
You were born without a brain?
The brain's not a calculating machine, but an associative one.
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Old 13th March 2019, 10:59 AM   #96
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I was just thinking about this incident and remembered this thread.

So what ended up happening?
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Old 13th March 2019, 11:06 AM   #97
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Originally Posted by Senex View Post
I was just thinking about this incident and remembered this thread.

So what ended up happening?
She knew Felicity Huffman
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Old 13th March 2019, 12:12 PM   #98
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Originally Posted by Senex View Post
I was just thinking about this incident and remembered this thread.

So what ended up happening?
The student dropped the fight to validate her test score about a month ago.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/07/us/fl...rsy/index.html
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Old 13th March 2019, 12:44 PM   #99
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From Joe's link:
Quote:
A letter that ETS sent to Campbell late last year had said her second score was being investigated primarily over concerns that her answers aligned too closely with those of other test takers.

And the College Board said a score is never flagged solely on score gains, but that a number of factors come into play, including any absence of notes and calculations in testing booklets, which students must turn in.
You have to wonder why the news didn't uncover this sooner or the Board didn't say something sooner.

I'd also like to know how many other students were also flagged.
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Old 13th March 2019, 12:52 PM   #100
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
The student dropped the fight to validate her test score about a month ago.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/07/us/fl...rsy/index.html
Thanks. It looks to me the student's case wasn't strong or it wouldn't have been dropped.
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Old 13th March 2019, 12:58 PM   #101
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
From Joe's link: You have to wonder why the news didn't uncover this sooner
Because CNN is not your friend.

Quote:
I'd also like to know how many other students were also flagged.
Understandable, but you won't be told about that. Because CNN is not your friend.
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Old 13th March 2019, 12:59 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by Senex View Post
Thanks. It looks to me the student's case wasn't strong or it wouldn't have been dropped.
That's not actually a valid inference. There are whole grey markets in the criminal and civil justice systems, dedicated to getting strong cases dropped for other considerations.
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Old 13th March 2019, 08:48 PM   #103
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
That's not actually a valid inference. There are whole grey markets in the criminal and civil justice systems, dedicated to getting strong cases dropped for other considerations.
I find it interesting that no one claims victory. It seems it was a partisan issue at one point.
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Old 13th March 2019, 11:04 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by Senex View Post
I find it interesting that no one claims victory. It seems it was a partisan issue at one point.
I hope she goes back out and gets another 1230 or better, to prove the College Board wrong.
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Old 14th March 2019, 12:07 AM   #105
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
From Joe's link: You have to wonder why the news didn't uncover this sooner or the Board didn't say something sooner.

Quote:
A letter that ETS sent to Campbell late last year had said her second score was being investigated primarily over concerns that her answers aligned too closely with those of other test takers.
I'd also like to know how many other students were also flagged.

Am I the only one who is going to bring up the fact that, if this is true, then it can also be argued that the other test takers' answers align closely with each other, and hers?

It stands to reason that if a whole group of people have very high marks, say, in the mid 90%s, that an awful lot of their answers are going to "align
closely".
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Old 14th March 2019, 10:14 AM   #106
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Am I the only one who is going to bring up the fact that, if this is true, then it can also be argued that the other test takers' answers align closely with each other, and hers?

It stands to reason that if a whole group of people have very high marks, say, in the mid 90%s, that an awful lot of their answers are going to "align
closely".
Not surprisingly, the questions they all get right will have the same answer. The issue arises when two or more people get the same questions wrong, with the same wrong answers, while the test group as a whole shows randomness on which questions they fail, and which wrong answers they choose.
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Old 14th March 2019, 10:17 AM   #107
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Originally Posted by Pope130 View Post
Not surprisingly, the questions they all get right will have the same answer. The issue arises when two or more people get the same questions wrong, with the same wrong answers, while the test group as a whole shows randomness on which questions they fail, and which wrong answers they choose.
Assuming the SATs are well-designed.
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Old 14th March 2019, 10:45 AM   #108
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Assuming the SATs are well-designed.
You don't think the SAT people are well-aware what the normal distribution of wrong answers is for each of the questions they ask?
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Old 14th March 2019, 11:01 AM   #109
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How much of the SAT papers have multiple choice answering?

I ask this because having two or more people with the wrong multiple choice answers is not a very high bar if there are only three possible wrong answers. This can become even more skewed when questions contain a right answer and an answer that looks enough like it might be right but isn't. For example, if I were to ask the question

What is the State capital of California?

a) Anaheim
b) Sacramento
c) San Francisco
d) Santa Monica


The correct answer is, of course, b) but I would bet that a disproportionate number of the wrong answers would be c)
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Old 14th March 2019, 11:03 AM   #110
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Originally Posted by pgwenthold View Post
You don't think the SAT people are well-aware what the normal distribution of wrong answers is for each of the questions they ask?
"The SAT people"? I'm sure there are some people in that organization who know a thing or two about a thing or two. I just don't take for granted that an institutional bureaucracy is doing a good job of keeping its head out of its ass.

I mean, look at Boeing. You'd think that company would be packed with people who know how to build good airplanes. And yet somehow, they produced the 737 MAX. You ever wonder how many institutional **** ups we wade through every day without realizing it, just because there isn't a sensational body count to bring it to our attention?
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Old 14th March 2019, 11:08 AM   #111
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
What is the State capital of California?

a) Anaheim
b) Sacramento
c) San Francisco
d) Santa Monica


The correct answer is, of course, b) but I would bet that a disproportionate number of the wrong answers would be c)
You could have that same test with another possible answer...

e) Massachusetts

Then what do you think when 30% of the test-takers answer "e"?
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Old 14th March 2019, 11:13 AM   #112
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
You could have that same test with another possible answer...

e) Massachusetts

Then what do you think when 30% of the test-takers answer "e"?


That they all read the same test prep book that told them "E is the correct answer 2.15% more often than a random sample would suggest, so guess "E" if you don't know the answer".
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Old 14th March 2019, 05:56 PM   #113
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Originally Posted by Pope130 View Post
Not surprisingly, the questions they all get right will have the same answer. The issue arises when two or more people get the same questions wrong, with the same wrong answers, while the test group as a whole shows randomness on which questions they fail, and which wrong answers they choose.
But I think the point being made is that if the answers align with an unnamed group of "other test takers" the question is whose answers align with whose. We're not told that the others whose answers were similar were also disqualified for cheating. What is the criterion by which it is assumed she cheated and the others did not?
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Old 14th March 2019, 06:48 PM   #114
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It's what I expected. The TestGivers ****** up but student has to pay the price and take the test again.
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Old 14th March 2019, 07:04 PM   #115
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Originally Posted by Horatius View Post
That they all read the same test prep book that told them "E is the correct answer 2.15% more often than a random sample would suggest, so guess "E" if you don't know the answer".
I read somewhere that by including a "none of the above" option in a multiple choice test really clears out a lot of lucky guessers. It's easier to winnow out a correct answer from specific incorrent answers, but a lot harder to decide a given answer is correct versus all the other possible answers not specifically listed.

I'm surprised the SAT hasn't put a "none of the above" option in every multiple choice question. Perhaps it would make the test too difficult if they did. They want a certain number of students to pass, and a subset of those to score well. If it were too difficult it would become less ubiquitous, and lose business. It is, after all, a scheme to make money, not to necessarily improve educational assessment.
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Old 14th March 2019, 08:20 PM   #116
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I read somewhere that by including a "none of the above" option in a multiple choice test really clears out a lot of lucky guessers. It's easier to winnow out a correct answer from specific incorrent answers, but a lot harder to decide a given answer is correct versus all the other possible answers not specifically listed.

I'm surprised the SAT hasn't put a "none of the above" option in every multiple choice question. Perhaps it would make the test too difficult if they did. They want a certain number of students to pass, and a subset of those to score well. If it were too difficult it would become less ubiquitous, and lose business. It is, after all, a scheme to make money, not to necessarily improve educational assessment.
It's been many a decade since I took the SAT's but I imagine some of the problem with a "none of the above" answer is that, as I recall, some of the verbal questions were pretty arguable. The SAT people were convinced that one bad answer was more right than the others, but "none of the above" would have been better. But there is no way then of knowing whether the test taker was being a stickler or was just punting.

Similarly, with the dreaded number sequences, perhaps. I was never good at this, partly because I'm not good at that but I also never knew at the time that they had a specific and fairly limited set of rules for generating them (I found that out when my stepson was preparing and got a book). There's probably some extremely complex and unique rule whereby any sequence could be followed by a number not listed, and again, how would the test makers know if you've found one or just don't know the answer?

The basic problem here is that the test purports to ask what a thing is or what it means, but what it really asks is what you think the testing service meant. Imagination can be a liability here.
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