On the same day that shares of Shanda Interactive Entertainment (Nasdaq:SNDA) spiked up in heavy trading, another shanda was taking place on New York’s Long Island. (Not to be confused with the moronic shanda by a Staten Island university teacher who contributed a NYT Op-Ed that praised gay rights on the West Bank, but not in Israel. Seriously?)
The Shanda is that students (or their families) allegedly paid other students to take college entrance exams for them, in the hopes of receiving higher scores. It is a SAT / ACT scandal, and many of those who stand accused are members of the tribe.
The investigation began when a college freshman, Sam Eshaghoff, was caught impersonating a younger high school student at an exam. He is accused of impersonating six students, including a woman. And now, two months later, thirteen students have been arrested for allegedly paying to have someone else take an exam or for taking the exam under fraudulent circumstances. A few students from at least three area high schools are accused: North Shore Hebrew Academy High School, Great Neck North High School, and Roslyn High School. Bernard Kaplan, the principal of Great Neck North, said he believed cheating was pervasive (wait, isn’t Kaplan the name of the SAT test prep company?).
Among those charged with taking tests for other students are Joshua Chefec, Michael Pomerantz, Adam Justin, and George Trane. Matin Emouna, a Farsi speaking Yeshiva University law grad and the attorney representing some of the accused students said that the students are not guilty and it is a matter for the schools and not the state courts. (But no offense, but if you were going to pay someone $3500 USD to take a test, wouldn’t you pay someone other than a person who is attending Emory, Indiana or Tulane)
Note: Shanda Interactive Entertainment has a market cap of $2.66 billion; it operates as an entertainment media company in the People’s Republic of China. The company has a P/E ratio of 27.4, below the average computer software & services industry P/E ratio of 47.3 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.