Leaked Confidential Documents Reveal Secret Office of Testing Integrity Detention Center
By Sam Lushtak:
Public outcry has erupted across the nation following the leak of classified documents confirming the existence of a secret detention center operated by the College Board’s Office of Testing Integrity. The documents reveal that the detention center has been used to indefinitely detain numerous suspects accused of various testing irregularities on AP tests, which include having items on one’s desk other a No. 2 pencil and a pen with black or dark blue ink; eating or drinking in the exam room; leaving the room at the end of testing before one has been dismissed; removing any pages from the exam booklets; sharing or exchanging materials with anyone; using an unauthorized aid, such as a dictionary or unauthorized calculator; failing to follow exam procedures; creating a disturbance; and writing short-answer questions in the wrong booklet.
Reports suggest that the detention center has used various forms of so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” on its detainees, including one called “bubble-boreding,” in which a suspect is forced to fill in circles corresponding to their name, birthdate, AP student number, and mailing address, causing the individual to experience the sensation of drowning. The detention center is located within a military compound in Iowa that is leased by College Board from the ACT, though ACT, Inc. has constantly protested against the College Board presence on ACT soil. The legality of the detention center has been questioned: the gross human rights violations that have been revealed to occur there have led Amnesty International to call the center the “Gulag of our times,” comparing the Office of Testing Integrity’s tactics to those employed by the KGB in Siberian prison camps during the rule of Joseph Stalin.
The leaked documents have also confirmed the existence of a secret mass surveillance program that indiscriminately collects and stores phone calls made by millions of US citizens without warrants or probable cause. The College Board has responded to these revelations by explaining that the program is necessary to ensure that test questions are not discussed before they are posted on the College Board website approximately two days after exams, and that its servers only store the calls’ metadata, and not the calls themselves.
Meanwhile, the whistleblower responsible for leaking these documents has fled the country after the College Board threatened to cancel his scores.
“What this individual did was irresponsible and illegal, and jeopardized the integrity of the AP examinations,” said a College Board spokesman. “College Board values transparency, accountability and fairness above all, and that is why we have established proper channels for reporting any kind of wrongdoing. The instructions were clear: If you become aware of any possible cheating, you are supposed to contact the Office of Testing Integrity. The phone number and email address are in your Student Pack.” Though the whistleblower’s exact location is currently unknown, he is believed to be in an airport in Russia. Already, support for the leaker has poured in from around the world, and he has been offered asylum by the International Baccalaureate in Geneva, Switzerland.
The revelations from these leaked documents have ignited a nationwide debate over whether or not such programs are justifiable, and whether the whistleblower is a hero who stood up against injustice, or a traitor to his rigorous AP curriculum. While many believe that he should be honored for sacrificing his scores to expose the Office of Testing Integrity’s wrongdoings, others believe that he has caused irreparable damage to the exam’s security.
“Exam administration and security procedures are in place to ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to demonstrate their abilities, and that no one has an unfair advantage,” said political commentator Rush O’Donnell. “It’s a crazy world out there right now, and the College Board has no choice but to take extra steps to ensure that testing irregularities do not occur. At the end of the day, these programs are there to keep us safe, and to make sure that our scores will accurately reflect our performance.”