Better Believe It......Because They Actually Happen(ed) Collection 16

Education minister apologizes for exam oversight

By Ko Lin, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

Education Minister Wu Se-hwa presented his report at the Legislative Yuan hearing Wednesday in response to last Sunday’s fiasco, apologizing for the major oversight involving the nationwide English listening exam portion of the Comprehensive Assessment Program for Junior High School Students.

“On behalf of the ministry, I send my deepest apologies to the students involved and their families,” he exclaimed.

During the nationwide English listening exam, several faculty proctors asked test-takers to turn in their exam papers three to four minutes early. However, due to insufficient time, numerous students apparently shed tears at test centers from stress at failing to complete their tests.

The Ministry of Education (MOE) carved up damage control options late Tuesday night, and was consequently questioned by legislators on Wednesday at the Legislative Yuan concerning the major oversight.

Full story at Taiwan News (May 2015)

China deploys drones to stamp out cheating in college entrance exams

Students have been caught using wireless equipment to communicate but now authorities are flying six-propeller craft over testing centres to detect signals

Parents hold umbrellas as they wait outside a school where children are taking the college admission exam in Wuhan, China. Photograph: Rex Shutterstock

Authorities in China are employing surveillance drones in an effort to stamp out cheating in college entrance exams.

The stakes are high in the tests, with the scores determining which tier of university students can go to. Methods of cheating have included selling answers, hiring surrogate test takers and using wireless equipment to communicate during the test.

But this year officials have unleashed a six-propeller drone, flown over two testing centres in Luoyang in Henan province on Sunday – the first day of the exam – to scan for signals being sent to devices which may have been smuggled in. No such signals were detected, local reports said.

The drone cost hundreds of thousands of yuan – equivalent to tens of thousands of pounds – and is as big as a petrol station pump when extended, according to Lan Zhigang, from Luoyang’s radio supervision and regulation bureau.

Full story at The Guardian (June 2015)

A Woman Is Suing Her University Because She Failed A Class Twice

Jennifer Burbella claims Misericordia University violated federal disability laws by failing to provide adequate accommodations for her depression and anxiety.

By Stephanie McNeal

In the federal lawsuit filed earlier this month, Jennifer Burbella claims that Misericordia University violated federal disability laws by failing to provide her accommodations during the class and final exam.

Burbella suffers from anxiety and depression, according to the lawsuit.

She is seeking $75,000 in damages, but her attorney, Harry McGrath, says she wants to fulfill her nursing dreams as well.

“She would like the ability to take the course under the proper accommodations and to become a nurse,” he told BuzzFeed News.

Burbella pictured with her nursing class before she was informed she wasn’t graduating.

According to the lawsuit, Burbella suffered from depression and anxiety before she became a student at the school in 2010.

Burbella signed a waiver in 2013 to allow the doctor to review her academic records with the hopes she could be granted disability accommodations.

In spring 2014, she took a class in which she was required to get a 78% in order to receive a nursing degree. It was one of her final courses before graduation, but she failed it.

Full story at BuzzFeed News (May 2015)

Chinese nationals charged with cheating by impersonation on US college tests

The 15 people caught taking entrance exams for those abroad reveals increasing pressure on Asian students to obtain visas to attend prestigious western schools

Students in China and South Korea are increasingly seeking out advanced test copies or hiring an impersonator in order to gain admission into US universities. Photograph: Alamy

By Alan Yuhas

Fifteen Chinese nationals have been charged with impersonating students in order to defraud colleges through standardized tests, the justice department said on Thursday, hinting at a possible “iceberg” of cheating by students abroad.

According to the justice department, the 15 conspirators lived mostly in western Pennsylvania, where they had counterfeit Chinese passports sent to them to use as ID before taking standardized tests. They then impersonated students on tests such as the SAT, GRE and Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

The named defendants comprise seven men and five women, all between the ages of 19 and 26. Only Siyuan Zhao, a 24-year-old who the justice department said lived in Revere, Massachusetts, had been arrested as of Thursday morning. Two of the named defendants, Xiaojin Guo and Ning Wei, were believed to be in China. Those believed to be in the US had residences ranging from Santa Ana, California, to Blacksburg, Virginia and Boston.

The conspiracy to defraud colleges by way of the College Board and Educational Testing Services (ETS), lasted for four years, the justice department said.

Officials also said the scheme would have helped secure visas for the buyers abroad, as they would have been able to use student credentials to enter the US.

David Hickton, US attorney for the western district of Pennsylvania, told the Guardian it would be “misleading” to estimate how many fraudulent tests were taken, given the continuing investigation, but said the case “does relate to great institutions all across the country”.

The College Board and ETS are cooperating with the investigation, Hickton said.

Full story at The Guardian (May 2015)