|Conning the Education System by Elites
Two things I can surmise about the busts and subsequent criminal indictments from “Operation Varsity Blues.” One is that somebody who
wanted “in” didn’t get “in.” This must’ve made them really mad. Given this cast of characters, my other speculation is that I doubt if these
rich folks will be singing the “Jailhouse Blues” behind bars.
For almost a year, the FBI had 200 agents across six states work to untangle the sophisticated web of “Operation Varsity Blues.” The federal
investigation snared CEOs, attorneys, doctors, coaches, administrators and yes, even Hollywood actresses, in a conspiracy to by-pass
entrance requirements and get their children in elite institutions of higher learning.
The scheming and conniving by wealthy people and their offspring to get status and position is nothing new. It’s been going on for centuries.
Yet I don’t believe I’ve ever heard an affirmative action opponent tackle this contradiction. It’s easier to go after working class families of
racial and ethnic backgrounds, attacking them as being unqualified and undeserving. Most of these families value hard work and honesty to
ensure upward mobility; they can’t rely on the social capital and financial chips enjoyed by their rich counterparts.
Rich people plan out a very intentional path of ascendancy for their children from the time they are born. The proper neighborhood is the
starting point. Then comes what prestigious pre-school they get the kids into. That determines what elementary school opens the doors to
them. It goes on and on — all the way to the first high-paying job that secures their social and economic status.
Along the child’s pretending-to-be-educated journey, these parents engage in jockeying tactics that guarantee undeserving advantage for
future success. Over time, the tactics are fine-tuned and may change based upon the circumstances.
Some of these unfair and unethical approaches include, but are not limited to, holding their child back a grade so that they’re academically
ahead of their younger peers, paying for taking tests (not just the ACT or SAT), paying for papers to be written, bullying teachers and
principals/head masters into standing down when the children break rules and much more.
by Jamala Rogers
The latest scandal of bribes, fake credentials and other forms of fraud
exposed the elaborate schemes and the high stakes involved. The conspiracy
involves students, parents, athletic coaches and school administrators. The
criminal charges range from racketeering conspiracy to money laundering.
This sounds like some sho-nuff gangster stuff.
Here are a couple of issues that make my blood boil. High income people
game the educational system but can afford to pay. An example is the
growing trend of charter schools set up by organized and economically
empowered parents that drain money from public schools. These folks can
afford to put their little heirs into private or parochial schools but why
should they? They can muscle their way to the public trough.
Another issue is the oppressive debt incurred by students seeking the elusive
American dream. Family incomes have not kept up with the soaring costs of
higher learning. Currently 1 in 4 Americans have student loan debt totaling
over $1.53 trillion. It surpasses both credit card and auto loan debt and takes
an average of 20 years to pay off. We can do better than this.
My veins are still burning because from 2007 to 2012, the government made
a profit of $66 billion from federal loans. Why can’t we create provisions
for students to get relief with some of these dollars?
There are some small and momentous changes to this situation that are
encouraging. Like NYU Medical School becoming tuition-free. Like the
elimination of ACT/SAT scores by some schools as entrance requirements.
Like more careers getting debt forgiveness.
I don’t think college is the only way people can learn or seek a career path.
It shouldn’t bring automatic emotional stress and financial hardship that
diminish one’s ability to reach their full potential or participate in a robust