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TESTING SERVICE SETS OUTSIDE REVIEW

In its first-ever outside review of security procedures, the Educational Testing Service plans to hire an international corporate investigator to examine the way it administers tests, the New York Times reported Wednesday.

Kroll Associates also will look at how the Princeton, N.J., testing giant devises test questions to determine whether new anti-cheating measures are necessary, the Times said.

"Cheating is absolutely unacceptable to us," ETS President Nancy Cole said, "and we are constantly looking for ways to improve our procedures."

The probe was prompted by Times articles that exposed security lapses involving several ETS tests, the newspaper said. The articles also questioned ETS's willingness to respond strongly to cheating.

The earlier articles included allegations that a test for teachers who wanted to become principals had circulated in Louisiana for at least three years before two whistle-blowers alerted ETS.

ETS administers 9 million tests annually, including the SAT for college-bound students.

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