Student at elite NYC high school caught using cell phone to copy state exam
posted at 1:48 pm on June 27, 2012 by Howard Portnoy
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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