Way back in September, a couple of Long Island dummies were busted for paying 19-year-old Emory University student Sam Eshaghoff to take the SATs for them. Now it seems everyone is cheating on the damn test!
New evidence suggests that at least 20 students plunked down anywhere between $500 to $3500 to have the test taken for them, and recently a whole slew of administrators and parents have come forward to claim that they were well aware of the community's tendency, and in some cases encouragement, towards cheating. How could they not have known? High schoolers don't have any money of their own! One parent said he, "could not imagine that my child would be able to do that and come up with $1,000 or $2,000 and me not know about it." Yeah, you think?
The mysterious money isn't even the biggest tip-off here. Residents are now saying that the SAT stand-in racket was just common, widely accepted knowledge. One student bluntly asked his parents if they would hire someone to take the test in his place, though he later denied it. Jill Madenberg, a former guidance counselor at one of the Great Neck high schools, told the NY Times cheating is as common as drugs, and we know how teens feel about drugs. She said, "You know it's out there, but do I want to do it?" For many high schoolers who can afford it, I'm sure the answer would be yes. To both.
They live in a ritzy, Ivy League-or-bust community. We're talking about a place where something called an "admission consultant" is in high demand. What do you expect! Students get panicky or lazy or are simply not smart enough to get into the college their high-strung parents have groomed them for, and they have the bones to buy their way out of it. So they do. Actually, the dumbest part about this whole mess is that Eshaghoff's measly scores—somewhere in the ballpark of 2,100—aren't even top-tier, Ivy League material. All of these wealthy frauds would probably have ended up at Tulane or (shudder) a state school. A nightmare!
The worst part is that the community bashfully lowered its' collective eyes and pretended not to have known a thing about it. People have been cheating since they had enough brittle pterodactyl bones to barter for whatever they were after. It was not a thing born in Long Island, nor will it die in Long Island (though to live and die on Long Island is a torture all its own). But it will certainly live a long and beguiling little life there, and it's downright silly for these outraged teachers and parents to pretend it isn't happening. So charge the misdemeanors, assign the community service and let's all wait this out until next year's cheating scandal inevitably comes to light.