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[News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by Max Peck » Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:14 pm

em2nought wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:12 am
Still not as good a deal as paying $300 to get out of having to participate in the War of Northern Aggression.
https://www.quora.com/How-did-the-300-m ... -Civil-War
Or calling in a favor with a podiatrist to avoid serving in the Resistance War Against America. :coffee:
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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by LawBeefaroni » Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:22 pm

El Guapo wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:57 pm
Isgrimnur wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:44 pm
Lori Laughlin fired
Most notably, Loughlin has been fired from Fuller House, Netflix’s revival of the classic American sitcom Full House. In both series, Loughlin portrayed Rebecca Donaldson, the wife of John Stamos’ character, Jesse Katsopolis. According to TMZ, Loughlin will not appear in the upcoming fifth season of Fuller House.

Loughlin’s extensive relationship with the Hallmark Channel has also come to an end, according to EW. Over the years, Hallmark has served as home to several of Louglin’s projects, including the episodic drama When Calls the Heart, the mystery film series Garage Sale Mysteries, and several original Christmas movies.

Hallmark Channel owner Crown Media said in a statement, “We are saddened by the recent news surrounding the college admissions allegations. We are no longer working with Lori Loughlin and have stopped development of all productions that air on the Crown Media Family Network channels involving Lori Loughlin.”
Fuller House is up to five seasons?! That's probably the most shocking part of all this.
It's quite the career arc. Full House -> Fuller House -> Big House.
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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by Isgrimnur » Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:25 pm

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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by stessier » Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:31 pm

El Guapo wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:57 pm
Fuller House is up to five seasons?! That's probably the most shocking part of all this.
We've found it very entertaining.
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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by hepcat » Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:26 pm

stessier wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:31 pm
El Guapo wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:57 pm
Fuller House is up to five seasons?! That's probably the most shocking part of all this.
We've found it very entertaining.
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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by Grifman » Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:11 am

Jeff V wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:56 pm
Yeah, that's kind of my take from the news this morning.

I want to hear though how underperforming students manage to skate 4 years through these institutions, however. The whole admission scam I get - and am not the least bit shocked by it. But as we all know, not all students are created equal and for best results, the school should match the capabilities of the student. If the student cannot hope to thrive in the academic environment of elite institutions, just how do they successfully manage to ride out 4 years without additional, nefarious, assistance?
I'm not so certain that many classes at schools like Harvard or MIT are necessarily harder than other less prestigious schools. I mean the facts of chemistry that you need to learn are the same regardless of the school - the periodic table doesn't change, chemical reaction/equations don't change. The facts of US history that you need to learn, the words of French that you need to learn, none of that changes from school to school. And every school has less "demanding" courses and majors that one can take. I suspect taking the basic courses and less demanding majors could easily allow one to skip on through school.
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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by Grifman » Sat Mar 16, 2019 12:30 pm

rittchard wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:58 pm
40 years later, one of my nieces was rejected by UCLA - even though she was far more qualified than I ever was (she got into and went to Cal Tech instead).
My nieces and nephews have seen the same thing but this is not unusual or an indication of anything wrong going on. The US population has increased by 50% in the last 40 years but the total enrollment at most universities has not changed all that much. Fifty percent more people, relatively flat or slightly increased enrollment capacity means much more competition for those slots.
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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by Grifman » Sat Mar 16, 2019 12:32 pm

em2nought wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:43 am
Moliere wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:34 pm
Lori Loughlin's daughter was aboard a yacht owned by the USC Board of Trustees Chairman when the college bribery scandal broke

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Chairman of the Board must pay real good. Who do you bribe to get that job? :mrgreen:
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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by Anonymous Bosch » Sat Mar 16, 2019 1:31 pm

Grifman wrote:
Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:11 am
Jeff V wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:56 pm
Yeah, that's kind of my take from the news this morning.

I want to hear though how underperforming students manage to skate 4 years through these institutions, however. The whole admission scam I get - and am not the least bit shocked by it. But as we all know, not all students are created equal and for best results, the school should match the capabilities of the student. If the student cannot hope to thrive in the academic environment of elite institutions, just how do they successfully manage to ride out 4 years without additional, nefarious, assistance?
I'm not so certain that many classes at schools like Harvard or MIT are necessarily harder than other less prestigious schools. I mean the facts of chemistry that you need to learn are the same regardless of the school - the periodic table doesn't change, chemical reaction/equations don't change. The facts of US history that you need to learn, the words of French that you need to learn, none of that changes from school to school. And every school has less "demanding" courses and majors that one can take. I suspect taking the basic courses and less demanding majors could easily allow one to skip on through school.
It's also worth remembering that much of the prestige and reputation certain colleges have comes from their academic research. Which does not necessarily equate to a superior educational experience for students (particularly if a student spends little to no time with the relevant luminaries of academic research; generally-speaking, college professors that spend more time on research = less time spent with students).

Also, here's some interesting food for thought courtesy of the NYT, given how often such establishments love nothing more than scolding on subjects of fairness and equitability:
NYT wrote:Some Colleges Have More Students From the Top 1 Percent Than the Bottom 60

Students at elite colleges are even richer than experts realized, according to a new study based on millions of anonymous tax filings and tuition records.

At 38 colleges in America, including five in the Ivy League – Dartmouth, Princeton, Yale, Penn and Brown – more students came from the top 1 percent of the income scale than from the entire bottom 60 percent.
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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by Kraken » Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:21 am

Anonymous Bosch wrote:
Sat Mar 16, 2019 1:31 pm
Grifman wrote:
Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:11 am
Jeff V wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:56 pm
Yeah, that's kind of my take from the news this morning.

I want to hear though how underperforming students manage to skate 4 years through these institutions, however. The whole admission scam I get - and am not the least bit shocked by it. But as we all know, not all students are created equal and for best results, the school should match the capabilities of the student. If the student cannot hope to thrive in the academic environment of elite institutions, just how do they successfully manage to ride out 4 years without additional, nefarious, assistance?
I'm not so certain that many classes at schools like Harvard or MIT are necessarily harder than other less prestigious schools. I mean the facts of chemistry that you need to learn are the same regardless of the school - the periodic table doesn't change, chemical reaction/equations don't change. The facts of US history that you need to learn, the words of French that you need to learn, none of that changes from school to school. And every school has less "demanding" courses and majors that one can take. I suspect taking the basic courses and less demanding majors could easily allow one to skip on through school.
It's also worth remembering that much of the prestige and reputation certain colleges have comes from their academic research. Which does not necessarily equate to a superior educational experience for students (particularly if a student spends little to no time with the relevant luminaries of academic research; generally-speaking, college professors that spend more time on research = less time spent with students).

Also, here's some interesting food for thought courtesy of the NYT, given how often such establishments love nothing more than scolding on subjects of fairness and equitability:
NYT wrote:Some Colleges Have More Students From the Top 1 Percent Than the Bottom 60

Students at elite colleges are even richer than experts realized, according to a new study based on millions of anonymous tax filings and tuition records.

At 38 colleges in America, including five in the Ivy League – Dartmouth, Princeton, Yale, Penn and Brown – more students came from the top 1 percent of the income scale than from the entire bottom 60 percent.
I've been doing a lot of editing for MIT News and MIT Tech Review and some other departments, and Wife has worked there for nigh on 5 years now. I can't speak about any other university, but I can tell you that MIT is the closest thing to a meritocracy that I have ever encountered. Nobody there fakes or schmoozes or buys their way through, at least as far as I can tell. It's extremely competitive, to the point where imposter syndrome (even to the point of suicide) is a chronic problem. And while I can't say if the core undergrad curriculum is harder than at any other tech school, most of the active research is carried out by grad students and postdocs, often under the aegis of an esteemed graybeard. They actively enlist undergrad participation. Successful MIT students aren't just learning about science, they're doing science. When I walk down the Infinite Corridor, I know the future is being made behind all those closed doors. I can feel the brainpower crackling. I certainly never could have cut it there and I'm impressed with those who do.

MIT is widely considered the best tech school in the world. IDK how much better it is than the other top schools in its league, but an MIT degree deserves the prestige it's given. I'm sure some students must limp to the finish line, but only the brilliant succeed.

If MIT gets swept up in this scandal, I'll be surprised and disillusioned. To a science nerd, it really is the Emerald City.

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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by raydude » Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:31 am

Kraken wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:21 am

I've been doing a lot of editing for MIT News and MIT Tech Review and some other departments, and Wife has worked there for nigh on 5 years now. I can't speak about any other university, but I can tell you that MIT is the closest thing to a meritocracy that I have ever encountered. Nobody there fakes or schmoozes or buys their way through, at least as far as I can tell. It's extremely competitive, to the point where imposter syndrome (even to the point of suicide) is a chronic problem. And while I can't say if the core undergrad curriculum is harder than at any other tech school, most of the active research is carried out by grad students and postdocs, often under the aegis of an esteemed graybeard. They actively enlist undergrad participation. Successful MIT students aren't just learning about science, they're doing science. When I walk down the Infinite Corridor, I know the future is being made behind all those closed doors. I can feel the brainpower crackling. I certainly never could have cut it there and I'm impressed with those who do.

MIT is widely considered the best tech school in the world. IDK how much better it is than the other top schools in its league, but an MIT degree deserves the prestige it's given. I'm sure some students must limp to the finish line, but only the brilliant succeed.

If MIT gets swept up in this scandal, I'll be surprised and disillusioned. To a science nerd, it really is the Emerald City.
As one who graduated from Yale with a mechanical engineering degree I can say that the folks in my engineering classes were there because they wanted to be there and thought they could hack it. It wasn't just a matter of memorizing facts, it was applying theories, making your own equations, and solving them. Attacking the problem multiple ways and trying to figure out which one was best. We all had big dreams about what we wanted to do once we got out and we spent many nights in study groups, looking with envy at the liberal arts majors who could blow off classes and just write a paper at the last minute to get their grade. Our professors were tough but fair, and given our small class sizes past freshman year I can't see how they wouldn't notice any cheating.

And honestly, there are easier degrees to buy that would be more impressive to a 1%er.

And yeah, MIT was the creme de la creme back then for me. Their application forms alone made me think I couldn't hack it there.

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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by Grifman » Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:28 pm

There's an article today that I read (sorry, I'll see if I can find the link later) that says that the the "disability diagnosis for additional test time" is a giant scam that is very common among the wealthy. It is openly talked about among parents and students. You can buy a diagnosis from certaind doctors for $5,000 and parents will even have the kids play dumb during testing to get the proper diagnosis. The testing companies used to track that data and one point, it got so bad they cracked down. But then they later stopped collecting data so that they wouldn't have any evidence of abuse (not sure who exactly got to them). Something really needs to be done about this.

What is bad is that the wealthy can already legally give their kids a huge boost/advantage. Prestigious private schools, private tutoring, private entrance exam tutoring/testing, it's all above board. The abuses just compound advantages that already legitimately exist.
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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by Smoove_B » Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:47 pm

Grifman wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:28 pm
There's an article today that I read (sorry, I'll see if I can find the link later) that says that the the "disability diagnosis for additional test time" is a giant scam that is very common among the wealthy.
Doesn't surprise me at all. I make student accommodations all the time. It went from something that happened once a year back in 2009 when I started to something I need to address with multiple students every semester. Thankfully there's administrative support to handle it, but I can only imagine the overhead they're dealing with in maintaining staff and space to deal with students that need 3 hours to complete a 35 minute exam.

I'm honestly waiting for the online class scam to make bigger news - and I say this as someone that has been running online classes for 7+ years now. I know (but can't prove) that students are paying other people to take my classes for them. I have a situation unfolding right now and I'm prepared to die on the hill. If it makes national news, I'll post it here. :D

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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by em2nought » Sun Mar 17, 2019 3:53 pm

Smoove_B wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:47 pm
I have a situation unfolding right now and I'm prepared to die on the hill.
I'm not fond of cheaters. I applaud you! I hope if you die on the hill that the result is worth the sacrifice. :clap:
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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by LawBeefaroni » Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:55 pm

Grifman wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:28 pm
There's an article today that I read (sorry, I'll see if I can find the link later) that says that the the "disability diagnosis for additional test time" is a giant scam that is very common among the wealthy. It is openly talked about among parents and students. You can buy a diagnosis from certaind doctors for $5,000 and parents will even have the kids play dumb during testing to get the proper diagnosis. The testing companies used to track that data and one point, it got so bad they cracked down. But then they later stopped collecting data so that they wouldn't have any evidence of abuse (not sure who exactly got to them). Something really needs to be done about this.

What is bad is that the wealthy can already legally give their kids a huge boost/advantage. Prestigious private schools, private tutoring, private entrance exam tutoring/testing, it's all above board. The abuses just compound advantages that already legitimately exist.
Are these standardized tests? WTF is the point of a standardized test if the testing conditions are non-standard?
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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by em2nought » Mon Mar 18, 2019 2:34 am

LawBeefaroni wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:55 pm
Grifman wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:28 pm
There's an article today that I read (sorry, I'll see if I can find the link later) that says that the the "disability diagnosis for additional test time" is a giant scam that is very common among the wealthy. It is openly talked about among parents and students. You can buy a diagnosis from certaind doctors for $5,000 and parents will even have the kids play dumb during testing to get the proper diagnosis. The testing companies used to track that data and one point, it got so bad they cracked down. But then they later stopped collecting data so that they wouldn't have any evidence of abuse (not sure who exactly got to them). Something really needs to be done about this.

What is bad is that the wealthy can already legally give their kids a huge boost/advantage. Prestigious private schools, private tutoring, private entrance exam tutoring/testing, it's all above board. The abuses just compound advantages that already legitimately exist.
Are these standardized tests? WTF is the point of a standardized test if the testing conditions are non-standard?
What's the point of a 4.0 grading scale if people are getting 4.4s?
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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by ImLawBoy » Mon Mar 18, 2019 10:32 am

LawBeefaroni wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:55 pm
Grifman wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:28 pm
There's an article today that I read (sorry, I'll see if I can find the link later) that says that the the "disability diagnosis for additional test time" is a giant scam that is very common among the wealthy. It is openly talked about among parents and students. You can buy a diagnosis from certaind doctors for $5,000 and parents will even have the kids play dumb during testing to get the proper diagnosis. The testing companies used to track that data and one point, it got so bad they cracked down. But then they later stopped collecting data so that they wouldn't have any evidence of abuse (not sure who exactly got to them). Something really needs to be done about this.

What is bad is that the wealthy can already legally give their kids a huge boost/advantage. Prestigious private schools, private tutoring, private entrance exam tutoring/testing, it's all above board. The abuses just compound advantages that already legitimately exist.
Are these standardized tests? WTF is the point of a standardized test if the testing conditions are non-standard?
Many of the accommodations are legitimate, and the rise in accommodations is due at least in part to a better awareness and more rigorous application on the ADA. A student who is blind might require a reader (and a reader would add time to the process). A student with a processing disorder or dyslexia might need some extra time. That's not to say there isn't abuse - I'm sure there is some. But there are legitimate reasons for non-standardizing a standardized test, and we shouldn't just assume that everyone who requires an accommodation is scamming the system.
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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by El Guapo » Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:20 am

ImLawBoy wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 10:32 am
LawBeefaroni wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:55 pm
Grifman wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:28 pm
There's an article today that I read (sorry, I'll see if I can find the link later) that says that the the "disability diagnosis for additional test time" is a giant scam that is very common among the wealthy. It is openly talked about among parents and students. You can buy a diagnosis from certaind doctors for $5,000 and parents will even have the kids play dumb during testing to get the proper diagnosis. The testing companies used to track that data and one point, it got so bad they cracked down. But then they later stopped collecting data so that they wouldn't have any evidence of abuse (not sure who exactly got to them). Something really needs to be done about this.

What is bad is that the wealthy can already legally give their kids a huge boost/advantage. Prestigious private schools, private tutoring, private entrance exam tutoring/testing, it's all above board. The abuses just compound advantages that already legitimately exist.
Are these standardized tests? WTF is the point of a standardized test if the testing conditions are non-standard?
Many of the accommodations are legitimate, and the rise in accommodations is due at least in part to a better awareness and more rigorous application on the ADA. A student who is blind might require a reader (and a reader would add time to the process). A student with a processing disorder or dyslexia might need some extra time. That's not to say there isn't abuse - I'm sure there is some. But there are legitimate reasons for non-standardizing a standardized test, and we shouldn't just assume that everyone who requires an accommodation is scamming the system.
On the other hand, it's *way easier* to assume that everyone who requires an accommodation is scamming the system.

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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by LawBeefaroni » Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:25 am

It seems like it would be more reasonable, and less open to abuse, to allow for exceptions to test requirements rather than to try to build exceptions into the test. Blind students cold have a Braille or audio standardized test for example. Dyslexic students could have relaxed scoring requirements for admission if they can demonstrate their qualifications in a test controlled for their ability and so on. Not perfect either but IMO better.

I guess the idea is keep standardized tests standard and make exceptions outside of the test. Accept different abilities rather than try to bury them in standardized reporting.
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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by ImLawBoy » Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:50 am

LawBeefaroni wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:25 am
It seems like it would be more reasonable, and less open to abuse, to allow for exceptions to test requirements rather than to try to build exceptions into the test. Blind students cold have a Braille or audio standardized test for example. Dyslexic students could have relaxed scoring requirements for admission if they can demonstrate their qualifications in a test controlled for their ability and so on. Not perfect either but IMO better.

I guess the idea is keep standardized tests standard and make exceptions outside of the test. Accept different abilities rather than try to bury them in standardized reporting.
Not everyone who is blind can read braille, and audio tests will just take longer (it takes longer speak something than to read it). A dyslexic student could get stuck with the stigma of a lower score, even if they get some sort of modifier/allowance after the fact.

I get what you're saying, and there's really no perfect answer. You're de-standardizing the test in some way with your type of solution - it's just a matter of perspective.
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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by El Guapo » Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:58 am

In theory you could just hire a team to regularly audit test centers - e.g., audit 5% of granted exceptions from test requirements selected at random, and audit some selection of others based on some data-driven indicia of fraud (e.g., if the average test center has 1% of test takers getting disability assistance, and one test center has a 20% rate, probably worth taking a look at that test center).

Though maintaining review and enforcement of the wealthy is not always easy to do.

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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by Zarathud » Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:02 pm

My daughters have time accommodations in their 504 plan so they can bring their medical equipment into the test and handle their medical needs. A high blood sugar affects cognitive decision-making. It's not an abuse for their medical needs to be met.

Sure you can fake a ADHD diagnosis but there are other consequences than testing.
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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by LawBeefaroni » Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:07 pm

ImLawBoy wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:50 am
LawBeefaroni wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:25 am
It seems like it would be more reasonable, and less open to abuse, to allow for exceptions to test requirements rather than to try to build exceptions into the test. Blind students cold have a Braille or audio standardized test for example. Dyslexic students could have relaxed scoring requirements for admission if they can demonstrate their qualifications in a test controlled for their ability and so on. Not perfect either but IMO better.

I guess the idea is keep standardized tests standard and make exceptions outside of the test. Accept different abilities rather than try to bury them in standardized reporting.
Not everyone who is blind can read braille, and audio tests will just take longer (it takes longer speak something than to read it).
That's why there would be a test for the blind. It could take however long was required. Rather than making exceptions to standardized tests, make accessible versions of those standardized tests that are recognized but distinct.
ImLawBoy wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:50 am
A dyslexic student could get stuck with the stigma of a lower score, even if they get some sort of modifier/allowance after the fact.
This is difficult, I agree. Is that stigma worse than the stigma of being given an exception for that test? Does it do the student any good to know they have an asterisk after their score? They're still going to be dyslexic but now have to chase that asterisked score.



ImLawBoy wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:50 am
I get what you're saying, and there's really no perfect answer. You're de-standardizing the test in some way with your type of solution - it's just a matter of perspective.
I'd argue that I'm keeping the test standardized but putting the onus on institutions to de-standardize admissions.
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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by LawBeefaroni » Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:27 pm

Zarathud wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:02 pm
My daughters have time accommodations in their 504 plan so they can bring their medical equipment into the test and handle their medical needs. A high blood sugar affects cognitive decision-making. It's not an abuse for their medical needs to be met.
I think this is part of the problem with so much emphasis put on these tests. Should your daughters get accommodations? Of course. If they didn't, how much would it cost them in scores? I have no idea. They might not even need the extra time (though would need accommodations for bringing the equipment in) after all was said and done.

If there weren't such a premium on every single point maybe it wouldn't matter? Or more optimistically maybe there would be fewer abuses?

I feel like we (OO we) have discussed this before.


As an aside, I thought this was interesting when you consider the source.
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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by ImLawBoy » Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:36 pm

LawBeefaroni wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:07 pm
ImLawBoy wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:50 am
LawBeefaroni wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:25 am
It seems like it would be more reasonable, and less open to abuse, to allow for exceptions to test requirements rather than to try to build exceptions into the test. Blind students cold have a Braille or audio standardized test for example. Dyslexic students could have relaxed scoring requirements for admission if they can demonstrate their qualifications in a test controlled for their ability and so on. Not perfect either but IMO better.

I guess the idea is keep standardized tests standard and make exceptions outside of the test. Accept different abilities rather than try to bury them in standardized reporting.
Not everyone who is blind can read braille, and audio tests will just take longer (it takes longer speak something than to read it).
That's why there would be a test for the blind. It could take however long was required. Rather than making exceptions to standardized tests, make accessible versions of those standardized tests that are recognized but distinct.
I don't get this. If you've got one test for people with sight and another test for people who are blind, you don't have a standardized test. You've got two (separate but equal?) tests. Would you then create a separate test for each type of accommodation/disability? What about a student with multiple disabilities? Would a student with limited use of arms (due to cerebral palsy, for example) who is also blind need a separate test from a student who is blind but otherwise physically able to take the test?
LawBeefaroni wrote:
ImLawBoy wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:50 am
A dyslexic student could get stuck with the stigma of a lower score, even if they get some sort of modifier/allowance after the fact.
This is difficult, I agree. Is that stigma worse than the stigma of being given an exception for that test? Does it do the student any good to know they have an asterisk after their score? They're still going to be dyslexic but now have to chase that asterisked score.
They're not chasing an asterisked score if they have an accommodation that allows for extra time for processing (assuming that is what a person with dyslexia would need - I'm making an assumption here). To the person scoring the test or making admission decisions based on the result, the score looks the same as for a student who didn't require an accommodation.
LawBeefaroni wrote:
ImLawBoy wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:50 am
I get what you're saying, and there's really no perfect answer. You're de-standardizing the test in some way with your type of solution - it's just a matter of perspective.
I'd argue that I'm keeping the test standardized but putting the onus on institutions to de-standardize admissions.
De-standardizing admissions is a worthy goal, too. Until that happens, though, institutions are going to use standardized tests as a factor. The goal of accommodations is to give students with legitimate special needs a way to be fairly evaluated.
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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by GreenGoo » Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:43 pm

ImLawBoy wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 10:32 am

Many of the accommodations are legitimate, and the rise in accommodations is due at least in part to a better awareness and more rigorous application on the ADA. A student who is blind might require a reader (and a reader would add time to the process). A student with a processing disorder or dyslexia might need some extra time. That's not to say there isn't abuse - I'm sure there is some. But there are legitimate reasons for non-standardizing a standardized test, and we shouldn't just assume that everyone who requires an accommodation is scamming the system.
+1. I'm quite sure abuse happens. I'm also sure that it's a small price to pay for people who really need the accommodations to get them.

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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by naednek » Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:54 pm

Smoove_B wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:47 pm
I have a situation unfolding right now and I'm prepared to die on the hill. If it makes national news, I'll post it here. :D
I don't think you'll need to post. ISG will beat ya to it... BAM!!
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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by LawBeefaroni » Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:29 pm

ImLawBoy wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:36 pm


I don't get this. If you've got one test for people with sight and another test for people who are blind, you don't have a standardized test. You've got two (separate but equal?) tests.
Yes, you do.

ImLawBoy wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:36 pm

Would you then create a separate test for each type of accommodation/disability? What about a student with multiple disabilities? Would a student with limited use of arms (due to cerebral palsy, for example) who is also blind need a separate test from a student who is blind but otherwise physically able to take the test?
You create whatever there is demand for. A blind student with cerebral palsy probably wouldn't have a test so their application should be considered on its own merits.

Again, the problem is the institutional insistence on these tests. A blind kid with cerebral palsy who scores 30 on an ACT did not take the same test that a non-blind kid without cerebral palsy who also got a 30 took. However, since there's the need to shoehorn everyone into a standardized score, they're both 30s on paper. It doesn't reflect reality nor individuality of each student. It is, however, easier on admissions staff.
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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by ImLawBoy » Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:49 pm

LawBeefaroni wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:29 pm
ImLawBoy wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:36 pm


I don't get this. If you've got one test for people with sight and another test for people who are blind, you don't have a standardized test. You've got two (separate but equal?) tests.
Yes, you do.
The Supreme Court has already rejected separate but equal for protected classes. Obviously the facts are different when we're discussing test taking vs. water fountains, but the law says that you have to make reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities. Having a reader or giving extra time or permitting assistive technology to provide answers are established, reasonable accommodations. The test creators are going to push back on creating separate tests for each category of disability as an unreasonable burden on them, particularly when there are other, easier accommodations.
LawBeefaroni wrote:
ImLawBoy wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:36 pm

Would you then create a separate test for each type of accommodation/disability? What about a student with multiple disabilities? Would a student with limited use of arms (due to cerebral palsy, for example) who is also blind need a separate test from a student who is blind but otherwise physically able to take the test?
You create whatever there is demand for. A blind student with cerebral palsy probably wouldn't have a test so their application should be considered on its own merits.
One of those merits is test scores. Some people are really good test takers. If someone could take advantage of his standardized test taking skill by using reasonable accommodations to take the test, why do you get to choose to take that option away from him?
LawBeefaroni wrote:Again, the problem is the institutional insistence on these tests. A blind kid with cerebral palsy who scores 30 on an ACT did not take the test that a non-blind kid without cerebral palsy who got a 30 took. But since there's the need to shoehorn everyone into a standardized score, they're both 30s.
They did take the same test! They had the same questions, picked from the same answers, and ended up with the same scores. You seem to be thinking that these accommodations give the test taker some sort of unfair advantage, but that's not the case. The accommodations level the playing field so that the student is not disadvantaged by his disability.

And again, I'm all for lessening the reliance on standardized testing (although as a good test taker, I did get a bit of an edge from taking tests). But we have to keep in mind two things. First, they exist today and are heavily relied upon. The way to de-emphasize them is not to disadvantage those with disabilities by removing their accommodations. That's patently unfair and a violation of the law. Second, even if they are de-emphasized, they'll still likely remain as some sort of factor. And as long as they are some sort of a factor, those with disabilities are entitled to reasonable accommodations so that they can take these tests on a level playing field.
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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by Scuzz » Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:55 pm

El Guapo wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:20 am
ImLawBoy wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 10:32 am
LawBeefaroni wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:55 pm
Grifman wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:28 pm
There's an article today that I read (sorry, I'll see if I can find the link later) that says that the the "disability diagnosis for additional test time" is a giant scam that is very common among the wealthy. It is openly talked about among parents and students. You can buy a diagnosis from certaind doctors for $5,000 and parents will even have the kids play dumb during testing to get the proper diagnosis. The testing companies used to track that data and one point, it got so bad they cracked down. But then they later stopped collecting data so that they wouldn't have any evidence of abuse (not sure who exactly got to them). Something really needs to be done about this.

What is bad is that the wealthy can already legally give their kids a huge boost/advantage. Prestigious private schools, private tutoring, private entrance exam tutoring/testing, it's all above board. The abuses just compound advantages that already legitimately exist.
Are these standardized tests? WTF is the point of a standardized test if the testing conditions are non-standard?
Many of the accommodations are legitimate, and the rise in accommodations is due at least in part to a better awareness and more rigorous application on the ADA. A student who is blind might require a reader (and a reader would add time to the process). A student with a processing disorder or dyslexia might need some extra time. That's not to say there isn't abuse - I'm sure there is some. But there are legitimate reasons for non-standardizing a standardized test, and we shouldn't just assume that everyone who requires an accommodation is scamming the system.
On the other hand, it's *way easier* to assume that everyone who requires an accommodation is scamming the system.
My daughter is dyslexic. We found it during her grade school days and she was in a 504 program thru high school. When she went into Fresno State we found that she would have to be reevaluated, as they would not accept the determination of the her previous school district. She chose to not enter the college program, she didn't want to go thru the evaluation process again, and ended up doing pretty well in college.

Now I realize we are talking testing, and her path (going from high school to junior college to local state university) didn't require her taking the SAT or ACT. I also know that she probably wouldn't have tested very well in a timed pressure environment like that.

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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by rittchard » Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:59 pm

Sorry to derail the derailment, but I'm just curious, does anyone think this story/"scandal" would have blown up the way it did if it didn't involve two relatively "famous" actresses? Maybe it's just me but it just feels way overblown. I read someone was now suing the actresses for $500 billion? I didn't read the details, it just seemed ridiculous.

The most amusing thing for me was reading that Felicity Huffman's $15,000 bribe only bought her a 1420 score on the SAT. That's almost the exact score I got 30 years ago when I took it, and honestly at that time it was considered mediocre at best. In today's world (at least for most competitive Asian families), it would likely be considered an embarrassment lol.

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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by El Guapo » Mon Mar 18, 2019 2:09 pm

rittchard wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:59 pm
Sorry to derail the derailment, but I'm just curious, does anyone think this story/"scandal" would have blown up the way it did if it didn't involve two relatively "famous" actresses? Maybe it's just me but it just feels way overblown. I read someone was now suing the actresses for $500 billion? I didn't read the details, it just seemed ridiculous.

The most amusing thing for me was reading that Felicity Huffman's $15,000 bribe only bought her a 1420 score on the SAT. That's almost the exact score I got 30 years ago when I took it, and honestly at that time it was considered mediocre at best. In today's world (at least for most competitive Asian families), it would likely be considered an embarrassment lol.
Yeah, it would have. It's predominantly very wealthy people (e.g, partners at big law firms and the like), and the FBI / DOJ messaged it as a big deal (big public takedowns and the like).

The actresses give the story more legs, but this would've been a big deal regardless.

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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by GreenGoo » Mon Mar 18, 2019 3:25 pm

El Guapo wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 2:09 pm
rittchard wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:59 pm
Sorry to derail the derailment, but I'm just curious, does anyone think this story/"scandal" would have blown up the way it did if it didn't involve two relatively "famous" actresses?
Yeah, it would have.
Depends what you mean by "blown up". The Feds were doing their jobs. The charges would have occurred whoever was part of the corruption. I'm not sure the media would care nearly as much if it weren't for name recognition, but who cares? The merits of the case are not based on public outrage (or lack their of). That's like asking whether an organized crime story would have "blown up" if "recognizable names" hadn't been involved. Yes/No/Maybe/Who cares?

The feds are doing their jobs. Outrage over who the criminals are isn't important except to generate views, and since I don't care how many views are generated, that's a completely different issue.

There are stories right now happening that we are not aware of, mostly because they aren't big names, aren't big name schools, or only of local noteworthiness. If the feds are doing their jobs, excellent.

So would it have blown up? Probably not as much. That said, scandals happen all the time at the college level and they get reported. Whether they capture the public imagination is a purely philosophical question.

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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by Zarathud » Mon Mar 18, 2019 3:32 pm

It's also a matter of how willing the school is in diagnosis. I am not surprised if New Trier (1) has a higher incidence of stressed overachieving children of stressed professionals who (2) are highly treated in (3) a school with the resources and willingness to diagnose, even over-diagnose.
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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by Zarathud » Mon Mar 18, 2019 3:41 pm

El Guapo wrote:The actresses give the story more legs, but this would've been a big deal regardless.
The one thing Trump voters and Democrats can agree on is the little guy getting screwed. The wealthy and connected abusing college entrance justifies the liberals over outrageous college costs. The Hollywood elite and Wall Street guys doing so inflames the Trump voters about the "swamp." Same issue, different causes.
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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by Biyobi » Mon Mar 18, 2019 3:48 pm

rittchard wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:59 pm
Sorry to derail the derailment, but I'm just curious, does anyone think this story/"scandal" would have blown up the way it did if it didn't involve two relatively "famous" actresses? Maybe it's just me but it just feels way overblown. I read someone was now suing the actresses for $500 billion? I didn't read the details, it just seemed ridiculous.
I think the outrage would still be there, though not to this extent. Most of the people I've talked to agree that the rich already had their acceptable advantages, including their ability to put their kids through better K-12 schooling as well as the "building donation". Outright cheating is frowned upon everywhere, especially in a country as culturally competitive as the US.

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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by LawBeefaroni » Mon Mar 18, 2019 3:51 pm

ImLawBoy wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:49 pm

They did take the same test! They had the same questions, picked from the same answers, and ended up with the same scores. You seem to be thinking that these accommodations give the test taker some sort of unfair advantage, but that's not the case. The accommodations level the playing field so that the student is not disadvantaged by his disability.
I don't agree. The conditions of the test are part of the test. If disabilities make it so that the conditions are too onerous there should be a different test. If you change the conditions, it's a different test.

Also, you are assuming that I think that exceptions give an unfair advantage to those with disabilities. I don't (except in the case where exceptions are obtained fraudulently). Exceptions make it appear that the playing field is leveled but it's not. They're merely a way to make everyone feel OK about the current system of standardized testing.

Let's say Kid A is dyslexic. How much more time does he require to take the test? Is it more or less than Kid B who is also dyslexic? If A has more severe dyslexia than B and you give them the same extension, is that really fair to A? And what if the time extension for both isn't sufficient enough to make up for their particular disability? Do you just say, "well, they got an exception and didn't perform well so sorry, we were fair."

Is there a table that compares time allotments for dyslexia to PTSD to anxiety? Are we sure that each size fits all?

What we have is an inexact science at best (determining the effects of disabilities on standardized test taking) and trying to make it exact. The major beneficiaries are those who cheat, not those who are genuinely eligible.

ImLawBoy wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:49 pm
And again, I'm all for lessening the reliance on standardized testing (although as a good test taker, I did get a bit of an edge from taking tests). But we have to keep in mind two things. First, they exist today and are heavily relied upon. The way to de-emphasize them is not to disadvantage those with disabilities by removing their accommodations. That's patently unfair and a violation of the law. Second, even if they are de-emphasized, they'll still likely remain as some sort of factor. And as long as they are some sort of a factor, those with disabilities are entitled to reasonable accommodations so that they can take these tests on a level playing field.
The way to de-emphasize them is to point out the inadequacies inherent in them, not bend over backwards to make a broken system appear to be equitable.


I got into school pretty much solely on my ability to take tests but I still think they are overrated and over utilized. I don't think we disagree in the end objective here but on the usefulness of exceptions on standardized testing. I don't look at them as an unfair advantage for those with disabilities, I look at them as a misguided attempt that is often an unfair disadvantage to those with disabilities because it distills their disability down to a rule like "50% more time" or "needs a reader".
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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by ImLawBoy » Mon Mar 18, 2019 4:29 pm

LawBeefaroni wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 3:51 pm
ImLawBoy wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:49 pm

They did take the same test! They had the same questions, picked from the same answers, and ended up with the same scores. You seem to be thinking that these accommodations give the test taker some sort of unfair advantage, but that's not the case. The accommodations level the playing field so that the student is not disadvantaged by his disability.
I don't agree. The conditions of the test are part of the test. If disabilities make it so that the conditions are too onerous there should be a different test. If you change the conditions, it's a different test.

Also, you are assuming that I think that exceptions give an unfair advantage to those with disabilities. I don't (except in the case where exceptions are obtained fraudulently). Exceptions make it appear that the playing field is leveled but it's not. They're merely a way to make everyone feel OK about the current system of standardized testing.

Let's say Kid A is dyslexic. How much more time does he require to take the test? Is it more or less than Kid B who is also dyslexic? If A has more severe dyslexia than B and you give them the same extension, is that really fair to A? And what if the time extension for both isn't sufficient enough to make up for their particular disability? Do you just say, "well, they got an exception and didn't perform well so sorry, we were fair."

Is there a table that compares time allotments for dyslexia to PTSD to anxiety? Are we sure that each size fits all?

What we have is an inexact science at best (determining the effects of disabilities on standardized test taking) and trying to make it exact. The major beneficiaries are those who cheat, not those who are genuinely eligible.
You're describing why accommodations work. There is no single set of accommodations - it's based on the particular circumstances of the test taker. You can customize the accommodations so that they work for each individual. Kid A might need more time than Kid B, and that's OK. Is it an exact science? Of course not. But it's far more workable than trying to create a wholly separate tests for each type of disability or requirement. As long as we have these standardized tests, we need a way to ensure that all students have the opportunity to take them with as level of a playing field as possible. Accommodations are far from perfect, but they generally work. Plus, they're required by law.

LawBeefaroni wrote:
ImLawBoy wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:49 pm
And again, I'm all for lessening the reliance on standardized testing (although as a good test taker, I did get a bit of an edge from taking tests). But we have to keep in mind two things. First, they exist today and are heavily relied upon. The way to de-emphasize them is not to disadvantage those with disabilities by removing their accommodations. That's patently unfair and a violation of the law. Second, even if they are de-emphasized, they'll still likely remain as some sort of factor. And as long as they are some sort of a factor, those with disabilities are entitled to reasonable accommodations so that they can take these tests on a level playing field.
The way to de-emphasize them is to point out the inadequacies inherent in them, not bend over backwards to make a broken system appear to be equitable.
I think you're overstating the accommodations here. There's no bending over backward here - there are reasonable accommodations. You can point out the inadequacies of the tests while still accommodating test takers.
LawBeefaroni" wrote: I got into school pretty much solely on my ability to take tests but I still think they are overrated and over utilized. I don't think we disagree in the end objective here but on the usefulness of exceptions on standardized testing. I don't look at them as an unfair advantage for those with disabilities, I look at them as a misguided attempt that is often an unfair disadvantage to those with disabilities because it distills their disability down to a rule like "50% more time" or "needs a reader".
We don't get to make that decision on behalf of the disabled. If a disabled person wants to forgo accommodations or boycott standardized testing while applying to schools, that's their right and their decision. If they want to use accommodations to take the tests, that's also their right and their decision.
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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by LawBeefaroni » Mon Mar 18, 2019 4:47 pm

ImLawBoy wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 4:29 pm

We don't get to make that decision on behalf of the disabled. If a disabled person wants to forgo accommodations or boycott standardized testing while applying to schools, that's their right and their decision. If they want to use accommodations to take the tests, that's also their right and their decision.
It's not really their choice if they are serious about getting in to a school. We are saying, "You have this perfectly equitable accommodation. Now take the required test(s)."

I mean I guess it's anyone's choice to boycott a test. It's not without consequences.
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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by LordMortis » Mon Mar 18, 2019 4:48 pm

LawBeefaroni wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:57 pm
Zarathud wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:39 am
You get the job because you have the cash and connections. Hmmm.....,
From Adelson to Wang.

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Miriam Adelson is the wife of Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino mogul and founder/CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation. Miriam is a doctor and philanthropist and was elected to the board just last year. Sheldon is a GOP mega donor, donating $25 million to Donald Trump’s campaign in 2016, as well as another $5 million for the inauguration, making Sheldon the largest donor of the election cycle.
While a quick search to remember where I first heard that name shows she's come up on OO quite a bit, it was funny refreshing my memory that the first I ever noticed I heard of her was that she bought the Medal of Freedom from the current POTUS

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There is something somehow appropriate in this three degrees of separation lens.

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