An earlier post elicited this comment from George Turner (who should have his own blog). I thought I’d slightly edit and elevate it here:
“Trying to stop the cheating won’t fix the problem, which was baked in when parental/donor pressures led to grade inflation. Using brutal attrition and grading on the curve was a way to continually deselect students. There was no point in a parent tying to cheat a kid into Harvard if the kid would almost immediately flunk out.
That harsh grading system’s drawback was that it produced drop-outs, and that was an inefficient way to get all of the bright kids the maximally beneficial education. And it still had the corruption problem because some rich or powerful kids simply weren’t going to be flunked out, even if it took hand-holding by the administration. And once it became obvious that rich kids weren’t really going to flunk out, the public realized that the Ivy League had become social clubs.
That seemed unfair, so SATs/ACTs. But those are harsh, and Jews did too well, so they added essays. But essays are hard, too, and Jews and Asians are great writers, so they emphasized BS high-school extra-curricular activities and offered a back door for ping-pong. Academics, educators, and administrators will no doubt make careers out of debating the merits of various fixes, and the wheels of the bus go round and round.Continue reading A Modest Proposal For Academia