Search Results for College Scandal

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What the Scammers Got Right About College Admissions

What the Scammers Got Right About College AdmissionsLike most college presidents, R. Gerald Turner, the head of Southern Methodist University, where my son is a student, only sends correspondence when something goes terribly wrong. When I received a mass email from his office this week, I assumed the school must have gotten caught up in the fallout of Operation Varsity Blues, the college-admissions cheating and bribery scandal that came to light last week.But Turner’s missive turned out to be preemptive instead of apologetic. The scandal offered SMU “an opportunity to add to the ongoing review of our process,” he wrote. The university, he explained, must rely on the accuracy of materials submitted by students, including SAT test scores. Turner announced that the university intended to review the records of any students associated with “The Key,” the college-counseling firm run by William Singer, the alleged fixer who is accused of paying…

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There Is No Way to Prevent the Next Cheating Scandal

There Is No Way to Prevent the Next Cheating ScandalThe college-admissions scandal that led to federal bribery charges against dozens of parents last week unfolded at selective universities that pride themselves on “holistic” evaluations of their applicants. This process typically means that several admissions officers review a file and consider factors beyond grades and test scores, often intangible qualities that aren’t quantifiable and are usually gleaned from an applicant’s extracurricular activities, essays, and recommendations. This approach is nearly ubiquitous among selective schools.Given this scrutiny of applications, among the questions raised following the Justice Department probe is how the actions of a few rogue coaches and SAT proctors could go totally undetected in these admissions offices. How did the alleged cheater not get caught?Over the past four months, I have sat with admissions readers and committees at three selective colleges as they chose this fall’s freshman class, as part of research…

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The Two Words That Capture Corporate Media’s Disdain for the Left

The Two Words That Capture Corporate Media’s Disdain for the LeftThe Democratic primaries are heating up, and dozens of candidates representing all manner of political positions have entered the ring hoping to be the party’s 2020 presidential nominee. One notable feature of the race is the strong presence of progressive candidates, a sign of the rising influence of the left in the party. This phenomenon has many in the establishment wing of the party worried. Barack Obama, the most recent Democratic president, recently decried the “purity tests” of the left, which he called an “obsessive” ideological fanaticism that is setting the party up for failure.  Obama told an audience in Berlin, Germany (HuffPost, 6/4/19): One of the things I do worry about sometimes among progressives in the United States…is a certain kind of rigidity where we say, “I’m sorry, this is how it’s going to be,” and then we start…

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4 Myths Fueling the Fight Over NYC’s Exclusive High Schools

4 Myths Fueling the Fight Over NYC’s Exclusive High SchoolsOn Monday, another admissions scandal injected a new dose of disillusionment into the already disillusioned world of elite education. This time the revelations concern not higher education, but Stuyvesant High and New York City’s other elite public high schools. Of the 895 current eighth graders who secured a spot in next year’s Stuyvesant freshman class, just seven identify as African American.Every year, reports show abysmally low numbers of black or Latino students at all eight of the city’s elite specialized high schools whose admissions rely solely on a standardized exam. City officials including Mayor Bill de Blasio have led an ongoing, multifaceted effort to solve the problem through recruitment initiatives and a summer enrichment program designed to shepherd low-income youth into the rigorous institutions, but enrollment numbers remain disappointing.De Blasio and his relatively new schools chancellor, Richard Carranza, last year proposed…

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When Medical Schools Become Less Diverse

When Medical Schools Become Less DiverseAt Texas Tech University’s medical school, just 4 percent of students are black; 13 percent are Hispanic. And those numbers may soon shrink. Research has shown that’s what happens when schools no longer consider race in admissions, and that’s what the school plans to do.In late February, Texas Tech University reached an agreement with the U.S. Department of Education to end its use of race in admissions to its medical school. The resolution, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, brought to an end a 14-year federal investigation into the school’s affirmative-action practices. The complaint had been filed following the Supreme Court decisions in the Michigan affirmative action cases, Grutter vs. Bollinger and Gratz vs. Bollinger, where the court decided race could be used in admissions but only in a “narrowly tailored” way. Texas Tech had stopped using race in admissions at its pharmacy school…

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The Time Crunch on Standardized Tests Is Unnecessary

The Time Crunch on Standardized Tests Is UnnecessaryOperation Varsity Blues was full of salacious accusations detailing how wealthy parents allegedly cheated to get their kids into elite schools through hefty bribes and outright lies. But one particular deceit orchestrated by William Singer, the college-consultant fixer at the center of the scam, drew the ire of the disabilities-rights community: the abuse of extended-time accommodations on standardized tests. “All the wealthy families that figured out that if I get my kid tested and they get extended time, they can do better on the test,” he allegedly told one parent. “So most of these kids don’t even have issues, but they’re getting time.”Time extension is just one of several accommodations that students can apply for when registering for standardized tests—including the SAT, the ACT, the MCAT, and the LSAT—as mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act. The alternative arrangements run the gamut from…

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