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Archive for November 30, 2018

Nov. 30, 2018 — The Findlay Prep of academic subjects?

Over the last 20 years or so, shoe companies, would-be sports agents, and AAU basketball coaches have stood accused of academic fraud by setting up sham schools in places from North Carolina to Nevada where the only students in the school happen to be the school’s basketball team.

We figured it was only a matter of time before this kind of conspiracy would occur in a non-academic setting, and this story dropped this morning in The New York Times (possible paywall).

While the focus by many will be on the physical abuse charges, or criticism over the use of stereotypes to gain favor in the acceptance process for minority and poor children in the deep South, I’d look a little closer at the bigger picture when it comes to the academic fraud.

You see, I’ve always asked one question when it comes to some of the draconian steps that schools and school districts have taken when it comes to determining eligibility for student-athletes. The question is, would the same kind of scrutiny (and thereby taxpayer dollars) be spent investigating star chemistry students, trombone players, or singers in the glee club?

The problem is, sadly, there are investigations going on into some of those, too. The District of Columbia quietly released a progress report on an investigation into the families of some 219 children at Duke Ellington School, a magnet school for the performing arts. However, the body running the investigation had to admit that more than 65 percent of them were actually eligible after spending spent untold amounts of money.

And so it goes.