Tuesday, March 12, 2019

"Nah, You're Not Worth It"

The DOJ just announced 50 indictments in a massive bribery ring where wealthy parents paid to give their children an illicit boost in the college admissions process. The unlawful assistance included everything from falsely being "placed" on college sports teams (in sports they did not play), to falsification of test scores (or simply getting a smarter student to take the test instead). None of the students themselves are being charged, as the complaint alleges the parents were the primary actors.

Among those charged is Desperate Housewives star Felicity Huffman, and that led to this interesting little part of the story:
Huffman is accused of paying $15,000 — disguised as a charitable donation — to the Key Worldwide Foundation so her oldest daughter could participate in the scam. A confidential informant told investigators that he advised Huffman he could arrange for a third party to correct her daughter’s answers on the SAT after she took it. She ended up scoring a 1420 — 400 points higher than she had gotten on a PSAT taken a year earlier, according to court documents.
Huffman also contemplated running a similar scam to help her younger daughter but ultimately did not pursue it, the complaint alleges.
So I have to ask -- who comes out feel worse here? The older daughter, who now everyone knows had her college admission purchased by mommy and daddy? Or the younger daughter, who mom and dad considered "helping" in the same way but ultimately decided she wasn't worth the effort (hopefully -- hopefully -- because she was smart and talented enough on her own to not need it)?

Anyway, this is a massive abuse of the educational system by people already incredibly advantaged by their wealth and privilege, and I look forward to the results of the criminal process here.

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