Home > Uncategorized > College Admissions Scandal is an Indictment of Our Competitive, Celebrity Driven Culture

College Admissions Scandal is an Indictment of Our Competitive, Celebrity Driven Culture

Yesterday the NYTimes and virtually every media outlet in America broke a story regarding the indictment of fifty individuals for their roles in conspiring to secure seats for their children in elite colleges and universities. As the NYTimes article reported:

The scheme unveiled Tuesday was stunning in its breadth and audacity. It was the Justice Department’s largest-ever college admissions prosecution, a sprawling investigation that involved 200 agents nationwide and resulted in charges against 50 people in six states.

And there are more indictments to come. But as the MSNBC interview below with Anand Giridharadas and Tressy McMillan Cottom indicates, the biggest indictment is that of our culture:

http://https://www.msnbc.com/all-in/watch/fifty-charged-in-massive-college-admissions-scheme-1456907331756?fbclid=IwAR31UXBEEhNLlGUJFBmCSQsKu8M-WZALostGO-zh3dIYKKSaTd2M9zhDx08

After watching the interview and reflecting on this scandal, I recalled many parents who defended their decisions to “defend” their children when they were being disciplined by asserting that they were doing what any parent would do to support their child.  But, as these indictments indicate, not every parent is capable of doing what a billionaire can do.

But here’s are some tougher questions that I pose to myself and to other parents who are “…doing what any parent would do for their child”: 

  • Who is advocating for those children who DON’T have a parent capable of advocating?
  • If I can afford to have a realtor show me a house in any community, am I not “…doing what any parent would do for their child”? And if so, am I not providing my child with a leg up on other children whose parents cannot afford a house anywhere?
  • If I can afford to rent a house in an affluent community with prestigious schools for my family while maintaining another residence located in a less prestigious school district, am I not “…doing what any parent would do for their child”? And if so, am I providing my child with a leg up on other children whose parents cannot afford to do so?
  • If I can afford to pay tuition for my child to attend school in a prestigious district and transport them to and from school, am I not “…doing what any parent would do for their child”? And if so, am I not am providing my child with a leg up on other children whose parents cannot afford a house anywhere?
  • The same kind of questions can be posed for parents who can afford tutors, music lessons, competitive team sports, and the books, electronic equipment, musical instruments, gear and coaching that accompanies those activities.
  • And, the same kinds of questions can be posed for parents who can afford to have family museum memberships, to send their children to summer camps, or take children with them on vacations abroad.

It would be beneficial of this scandal would compel us to look at the deep underlying inequities that impact children and recognize the need for our culture to be more compassionate toward those children who have the bad luck of being born to parents who care deeply about them but are financially incapable of “…doing what any parent would do for their child”?

 

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  1. Byron Knutsen
    March 14, 2019 at 5:45 pm

    Well spoken.

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