…If you’ve spent time working in International Schools, you know that not all graduating seniors will legitimately earn their way into the U.S. universities at which they’re accepted — a little grade ‘fixing,’ a helpful assist from the school counselor on an entrance application, a co-author’s rewrite of the personal essay, and, voila! The kid’s a Freshman at a prestigious university halfway around the world. You might ask, “What’s the harm of that?”
ISR says there’s plenty wrong! Inherent to our mission as educators is the desire to foster students capable of performing at a university level. Portraying students, on paper, as academically more than they are sets them up for failure both at school and in life. We’re all too familiar with the overly inflated senior who swaggers off to college, only to return after one semester, deflated and a prime candidate to attend a local/lesser university, if there is one, where Dad’s money can again influence the grading scale.
I’m reminded of a School Review hosted on International Schools Review. The Review tells of a math teacher whose student earned a “D” grade on each of 4 major exams. Soon after assigning a “D” to the final report card the director called the teacher into his office and pointed out an error had been made. The director demonstrated that by adding up the 4 “D” grades, each worth 1 point, one arrived at a total of 4 points, which “equated to a B grade.” The teacher was instructed to correct the “error” and left the school thereafter.
DiPont Education, China, recently made the news for “helping” students gain acceptance to top-rated U.S. universities, although helping students to cheat would be a better description. Reuters News reports that Dipont Education “buttered up” admissions officers at top universities with free trips to China and $4,500 cash “honorariums.” Reuters also reports that counselors confessed to writing admission essays and filling out university enrollment applications for students. There’s also the question of a $750,000 donation to the University of Southern California through DiPont’s U.S.-based non-profit corporation, currently under investigation by the IRS.
We encourage you to read the Reuters article in full. If the allegations are true, DiPont has set a precedent for going beyond anything we at ISR could even have imagined. Go to Reuters Article
There’s big money to be made in the International School business as host-national parents are ready and willing to plunk down big tuition bucks for a school with a track record of graduates attending top U.S. universities. Considering the hefty fees parents pay for such promises, they expect results. Of course, some students are qualified for top universities while other students clearly are not. The problem comes in when schools make those that are not, look like they are.
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…If you’ve spent time working in International Schools, you know that not all graduating seniors will earn their way into the U.S. universities at which they’re accepted. You might ask, “What’s the harm of that?” A little grade ‘fixing,’ a helpful assist from the school counselor on an entrance application, a co-author’s rewrite of the personal essay, and, hey! The kid’s a Freshman at a prestigious university halfway around the world…