Green Room

Student at elite NYC high school caught using cell phone to copy state exam

posted at 1:48 pm on June 27, 2012 by

This is clearly not how modern electronics were meant to be used in our nation’s classrooms.

A junior at New York City’s prestigious Stuyvesant High School has been expelled for cheating, if in a manner emblematic of the age of the high technology. The student, Nayeem Ahsan, allegedly used a cell phone camera to photograph the statewide Regents exams in Spanish, physics, and English. He is also accused of sending copies of the test and answers to more than 50 students, who are now under investigation by the city Education Department.

An online petition demanding Ahsan’s reinstatement misspelled the name of the school “Stuyesant,” which speaks poorly of teens enrolled at an elite high school that accepts only the cream of the crop among middle school graduates. The fact that those seeking admission are required to pass a rigorous exam in math and English calls into question why Ahsan would need to cheat on the Regents, a standardized test that brighter students generally breeze through.

On Wednesday, the New York Post published an interview with Ahsan’s father, who maintains that the 16-year-old is “a brainiac who earned a 2280 out of 2400 on his SATs.” Najmul Ahsan claims that his son is under enormous stress “because doctors fear [he may] have cancer and because he was robbed at an Astoria, Queens, subway station last month.”

My son couldn’t continue to study as diligently as he used to. He said it’s been incredibly difficult to keep up with his studies, and so he became desperate. He was desperate to save his grades from slipping.

Each year, “Stuy” ships off its graduates to the nation’s top universities. The school also invariably places high in the annual Intel competition for scientific achievement, claiming third place in this year’s running.

The scandal is the second in recent months to involve a prestigious school in the greater New York area. Great Neck North High School, on Long Island, was implicated along with several others last November in an embarrassing scam in which an alumnus admitted to taking SATs for a fee in place of graduating students. The cheater, Sam Eshaghoff, was charged with fraud and criminal impersonation but got off easy, sentenced to community service tutoring underprivileged children.

Random facts: In its coverage of the current scandal, the Daily News notes that the “alumni rolls read like a who’s who of nationally recognized achievers,” then points out that two of the more notable graduates are U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and White House advisor David Axelrod. Another alumnus, Ronald Poppo, made headlines recently when 80% of his face was chewed off in Miami by another man who, like him, was homeless and living on the street.

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Dang proud of you
-lib

cmsinaz on June 27, 2012 at 2:39 PM

I’m not sure about these particular regents exams this particular year but in general the curve on the NYS regents is ridiculous. So much so that I imagine a “brainiac who earned a 2280” on his SATs would be able to get a decent grade without much studying.

hopeful on June 27, 2012 at 4:33 PM

Sounds like he was charging the other 50 students to see the tests.

Not cheating, but $$$$.

I love when my Stuyvesant high school gets in the news…and it’s usually for negative stories.

sentinelrules on June 27, 2012 at 4:45 PM

sentinelrules on June 27, 2012 at 4:45 PM | Delete | Delete and Ban

Good point. You’re probably right but it’s still cheating.

hopeful on June 27, 2012 at 4:50 PM

sentinelrules on June 27, 2012 at 4:45 PM | Delete | Delete and Ban

Good point. You’re probably right but it’s still cheating.

hopeful on June 27, 2012 at 4:50 PM

ooops.

TexasDan on June 27, 2012 at 6:28 PM

Eric Holder, David Axelrod and Dick Morris’ alma mata (mine, too, but the point is this kid’s got future Democratic politician/political consultant written all over him….)

jon1979 on June 27, 2012 at 6:34 PM

The president of the USA lied and cheated his way through college, why wouldn’t these future democrat leaders of the free world be any different.

frizzbee on June 27, 2012 at 11:48 PM

I love how the same school system that teaches people that there’s no such thing as right and wrong, and which props up serial liars like Clinton and Obama, gets so outraged when its students simply apply the lessons they’ve learned.

I see that hippie social experiment which included taking the 10 commandments (‘thou shalt not lie’) out of the schools has worked out so well.

avgjo on June 28, 2012 at 7:08 AM

IMHO, this is less surprising than at a non-elite HS.

Coddled rich kids are as bad as the lowest-class students on disregarding rules – if a lot less violent. They’ve been shielded from consequences so often and/or their parents live like “rules are for little people” and they pick that up.

MelonCollie on June 28, 2012 at 1:05 PM

I’m not sure about these particular regents exams this particular year but in general the curve on the NYS regents is ridiculous. So much so that I imagine a “brainiac who earned a 2280″ on his SATs would be able to get a decent grade without much studying.

hopeful on June 27, 2012 at 4:33 PM

Keep in mind he was sending out the questions and the answers.

stevehorth on July 1, 2012 at 6:08 PM


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