I’m disgusted by the lying and cheating going on in education. We are supposed to be role models to our students – we set the guidelines and rules and lead by example. So when I hear that some teachers change their students’ standardized tests to show higher scores, I’m baffled. When I hear that some athletes are admitted to selective colleges because of bribery, I get angry. And now when I hear that Harvard’s admissions officers are being investigated because they are discriminating against Asian Americans, my blood boils.
It seems the stakes have gotten so high that parents, teachers, coaches, and even admissions officers are willing to twist the facts and do just about anything –ethical or not – to give certain students advantages over others. Why can’t admission to college be based on academic excellence and what the student can bring to the college community?
Forget legacies. This just reinforces colleges giving way to alumni who donate (isn’t this bribery?) so that their children who usually aren’t as qualified as others are admitted.
Forget athletes. Yup! Admissions officers adjust the academic bar when making exceptions for student athletes. These athletes often get preferential treatment with tutors, proctors administering final exams, and other questionable practices.
Forget affirmative action. Why not admit students based on academic skills and talents? If 2 students are 100% equal, then admissions could consider people of color or other minorities. But I don’t believe that we should change the academic standards simply to make the student body more diverse. (This is another conversation – we need to give all students equal access to good education so everyone can compete and be successful at the most prestigious colleges).
Let’s not send the message to our children that they can lie, cheat, or bribe their way into elite colleges. Besides being unethical, do we really want to give our children the message that we don’t believe that they have the intelligence, skills, or talents to get in on their own merit?