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Feds uncover admissions test cheating plot


Replies to: Feds uncover admissions test cheating plot

  • momo2x2018momo2x2018 Registered User Posts: 702 Member
    I seems as if the entire world is talking about this scandal! At dinner on Saturday night, the neighboring diners were talking about it, for what seemed to be much of their meal; yesterday, at brunch, a table of 10 (I counted) spent their entire meal talking about it; one of them appeared to be a journalist, and as much as I strained my ears (and ignored our guests!), I couldn't quit catch all they were saying.
  • MmeZeeZeeMmeZeeZee Registered User Posts: 638 Member
    edited March 18
    Will anything change?

    I think it will feed anti-college sentiment. The celebrities who can't hack it will take on the battle cry "college isn't for everyone anyway, it's just a bunch of nerds" (speaking of sour grapes). Doesn't even matter that the scandal didn't touch top public Us or other top privates.

    In spite of the fact that I support a more reasonable way of selecting from among the top 10% of applicants, I don't think that's a good thing. Our country needs more brainpower, not less.
  • PlotinusPlotinus Registered User Posts: 957 Member
    edited March 18
    If this country tried to move to a system of national school leaving tests, and those tests were used by elite colleges as part of the admissions decision, people would immediately begin trying to game the system just as they do in other countries.

    I was just answering a question about how admissions are done in other countries. I wasn't suggesting that the US could or should go over to national school-leaving tests. In fact, IB students do already participate in a form of this system, and NYU accepts IB exams and national school-leaving tests in place of the SAT/ACT. Whatever the merits or demerits of this idea, wholesale substitution of national school-leaving tests for the SAT/ACT would require a national curriculum, so it couldn't happen in the US.

    I don't know whether the Japanese system to which you refer includes oral examinations or interviews by professors for short-listed applicants. These are relatively effective in reducing cheating as well as moderating the benefits of excessive prepping. However, I think it is pretty useless to tell universities to significantly change their admissions systems because short of legislation compelling them, they won't.

    My opinion is that the universities have the system that they want because it is the universities that put that system in place and control it, including the nature, content, and mode of administration of the SAT/ACT. The universities just don't want the negative PR that sometimes comes with that system. So the scandal may yield some minimal changes to improve public image, but unless there is a public outcry for legislative intervention, we won't see any meaningful changes in the transparency of the admissions process, or in the content, use, or even cheating opportunities of the SAT/ACT. The opportunities for cheating have been discussed at length in the SAT/ACT threads, and they will remain even if there is crackdown on the cheating-for-the-0.1% in the Singer scam.

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 75,502 Senior Member
    edited March 18
    Canuckguy wrote:
    Standardized testing worked too well. That is the reason for modifying them again and again. They affect the transmission of privilege from generation to generation. I suspect the idea is to make them irrelevant so they can be phased out all together. It was a much more "innocent" time when they came up with the SAT.

    More like, those who wanted to pass inherited privilege to the next generation redeployed money to help their own kids acquire the newly emphasized measures of merit. For the SAT, that includes test preparation, and prep schools and high SES area schools embedding test preparation in course work (and occasionally, as in this scandal, paying for cheating).
  • goodjobgoodjob Registered User Posts: 60 Junior Member
    very well said
  • GourmetmomGourmetmom Registered User Posts: 2,811 Senior Member
    edited March 18
    The better solution is to add measures to make testing more secure - two proctors, video cameras, more safeguards on extended time, rather than make the academic portion of the application solely dependent on HS grades.

    Almost all of the students associated with the scandal attended private HS, and believe me, the amount of nonsense that goes on at private prep schools - outright cheating, fudging of transcripts, favorable treatment of some students - is outrageous and without the standardized tests as an equalizer, will 1) make the transcript even more important 2) encourage more cheating at the HS level where it's much easier to get away with.

    Just wait for the other shoe to drop in this scandal - several of the high schools involved have been subpoenaed, and it will be very interesting to see what comes out.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 31,452 Senior Member
    edited March 18
    As for transparency, it's there to be found. Try it. Be smart.

    Every time I reveal something of how admissions works where I am, realize how many people tell me, "No." Kids to long time adult poster arguers. Lol.

    Carry on. But try to realize that listening, doing the research at the real source, and processing trump just getting to gripe.
  • HamSBDadHamSBDad Registered User Posts: 51 Junior Member
    @TheBigChef I agree that there will be more scrutiny of college athletes as well as the remote test taking being shut down but I still don't see real changes out there. This kind of activity did not come about on a lark. Admissions to elite colleges has become so difficult and so vague that parents without a moral compass are willing to try anything.
  • gallentjillgallentjill Registered User Posts: 2,387 Senior Member
    edited March 18
    I've been mulling over why these wealthy parents would be willing to take such risks when there are so many reputable colleges out there which would have been quite willing to take their kids the legal way. It may have to do with the fact that if their children attend a low ranked school, they can't pretend its because they are receiving merit. Their kids have no cover. Everyone will know that the low ranked school is the best they could do. I'm not suggesting this as an excuse at all. Its not. But I wonder if its part of the motivation.

    In my area, I have noticed that often if a child is attending a low ranked school, the parents are quick to state that its because they got a great "package." They will often quickly add the names of the elite schools that their child supposedly turned down. It seems to be a way to distance themselves from the low ranking. Its unfortunate, but if people in my area feel the need to do this, I can only imagine how these pampered rich families must feel.

    Again, not a justification -- just a thought.
  • HamSBDadHamSBDad Registered User Posts: 51 Junior Member
    @MmeZeeZee There's plenty of anti-college sentiment out there already. Especially against "elitist" institutions.

    I do think the admissions process needs to become more transparent so that these kinds of fraudulent activities aren't hidden for so long. I doubt colleges would find that appealing though.
  • PlotinusPlotinus Registered User Posts: 957 Member
    edited March 18
    As for transparency, it's there to be found. Try it. Be smart.

    Every time I reveal something of how admissions works where I am, realize how many people tell me, "No." Kids to long time adult poster arguers. Lol.

    As much as I respect everyone posting here, my idea of transparency is stated official policy direct from universities. The universities are collecting the application fees and ultimately the attendance fees. Therefore the universities should have a legal and moral obligation to state on the record the policies and procedures that they are using.
  • TatinGTatinG Registered User Posts: 6,386 Senior Member
    Public sentiment is not against college. It is against elitism. This scandal has touched so many nerves because it highlights elitism gained by cheating. They are the 'fake elites'. They can't get in honestly so they cheat. I think people just want an honest, transparent system that treats all applicants equally.
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