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Admissions Cheating Scandal: Updates and Thoughts

Felicity Huffman pleaded guilty in federal court in Boston Monday to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud/honest services fraud. Her sentencing guidelines according to the plea agreement (available here) are either 4 to 10 months (government’s calculation) or 0 to 6 months (Huffman's calculations.) Prosecutors say they will recommend 4 months in prison either way.

A jail or prison sentence is unlikely in my view. [More...]

First, the guidelines are computed on the basis of amount of loss (money paid by the parents to Chief Scammer Rick Singer and his charity, and she's at the bottom, having only paid about $15,000.. So she should be the lowest benchmark, with probation and community service and maybe some home detention, so that those with more responsibility aren't walloped. There are other parents who also pleaded guilty right away who, while they paid more, also don't deserve a jail sentence. Especially since all federal sentences must be "sufficient but not greater than necessary" to fulfill the purposes of sentencing. For example, another parent who pleaded guilty yesterday, Devin Sloane, paid between $150k and $300k. The government is recommending 12 months and a day for him (the extra day allows him to get good time and reduces the sentence to 10 months).

Second, Huffman agreed to pay for a fixed test score, but not a fake psych exam to get her daughter extra time to take the test. She said, and the proseuctor didn't disagree, that her daughter had been seeing a neuropsychologist since she was 8 and had always gotten extended time for testing. The two components to the scheme were (1) getting extra time through a psych eval so that Singer could change the location of the test to a site where he hired the proctors and test cheater/faker, Mark Riddell and (2) bribing coaches to create fake profiles of the parents’ kids showing them playing a sport they really didn’t play, and then getting them in as athletes. Huffman paid so that Riddell could review her daughter’s test score and change answers, giving her a higher score, but not the rest of it.

On the flip side, Huffman didn't pay less because there was some kind of sliding scale of payment. The reason her fee was so low was because her daughter took the test with four other of Singer’s clients, meaning the test taker/cheater and proctor only had to do one test time and date. The total fee was $75,000, but it was shared among the five test-takers.

Also, Huffman hardly needs a handout. According to the court docket in her case, prosecutors at her bail hearing said she has real estate assets in excess of $20 million and $4 million in investments. The prosecutor wanted her bail to be set in the amount of 1% of her assets. The court set bail at $250,000, but granted her a signature bond, guaranteed by husband William Macy. (In other words, the Huffmans didn’t have to put up any assets or money.)

Check out the March Architectural Digest with a big spread on their new Aspen digs. (They published it as soon as the news of the scandal broke. I love the kitchen). It's on the land she and her sisters grew up on, but when her mother passed, it was run-down and not up to code. So she and Macy had it torn down and hired a very prominent architect to build a new house. The interior designer for the project is also quite famous.

According to current Aspen real estate assessment records, the 35 acre plot of land (right on Woody Creek) is worth $10 million and the house is worth another $10 million.

Sidetracking for a minute to the overall scandal, this case has played out so far for the Government like a fine-tuned violin. First, the Government had a financial fraudster from L.A. named Morrie Tobin against the ropes in an international securities fraud case. Tobin has at least four daughters, one of whom graduated from Yale, two who are presently at Yale, and one who was recently accepted. He decided to play ball for the Government and ratted out the Yale women's soccer coach in hope of receiving a lesser sentence in his securities case.

With Tobin’s information, they busted the Yale women’s soccer coach, Rudy Meredith, who had already left and gone on to be a coach in Rhode Island. Meredith ‘fessed up and handed them Rick Singer on a silver platter. Singer is the creepy-looking owner of the college admissions consulting company who created the schemes and used his charitable foundation and the others charged to carry it out.

Singer then ratted out Mark Riddley, a wannabe pro-tennis player who settled for being a director of college entrance exam prep at the famous tennis IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL, and who then sold his biggest asset, his native intelligence, to Singer by cheating on tests and faking scores of college admission tests for the unacademically inclined (or academically challenged) children of super-rich parents. What is the IMG Academy? From the LA Times:

The academy, which boasts celebrity alumni including Andre Agassi, Serena Williams, Jim Courier and Anna Kournikova, has a sprawling 500-acre campus with more than 50 tennis courts, an 18-hole golf course, two basketball gyms and a 5,000-seat stadium. High school tuition ranges from $61,650 to $77,650 a year.

Singer also turned on the parents. In addition to turning over his business records he made phone calls to the parents while the feds were listening, feeding them a story that his charity, to which they had all made donations, was being investigated for tax fraud, but the IRS didn't know about the fake test scores. He then tried to get the parents to make inculpatory statements, admitting they knew Riddell had faked their kids scores and agreeing not to tell the IRS if they got interviewed.

Singer also tried to get them to agree to tell the IRS they thought their donations were to help underprivileged kids. These phone calls, coupled with Singer’s records and all the electronic surveillance, and subpoenaed bank records and emails and in some cases GPS data, was sufficient to bring charges against the parents, coaches and Singer employees.

The prosecutors and FBI agents are calling all the shots in this case. They made their own assessment as to hierarchy of the parents (level of culpability) and told the parents' lawyers "take our offer now or we'll indict and bring more charges."

I can’t recall another multi-defendant, complex case with wiretaps and other forms of electronic surveillance where so many defendants folded within days or a few weeks of the discovery being provided. Where was the back and forth bargaining? The search for a defense? Even the parent who was the manager of a large and prominent Manhattan law firm folded on the first pass. He is pleading to a felony with the feds asking for jail time and will lose his law license.

As for no back and forth, every one of these plea agreements contains a sentence at the very end that the defense lawyer has to endorse that I’ve never seen before in any agreement: “I also certify that the U.S. Attorney has not extended any other offers regarding a change of plea in this case.” So the lawyers are signing under oath that the agreements entered into are the ones the Government first offered.

Personally, I think the parents are at the bottom of this food chain, with the crooked coaches just below Singer at the top for their betrayal of trust to the institutions they worked for and the students. Just below them I'd put Riddell, the cheating test- taker. The test proctors would be close to the bottom but higher than the parents. That the cheating test-taker and proctors made the least money doesn't make them less culpable in my view. Their willingness to sell fake test scores was motivated only by greed. They messed with the most uniform standard the nation has for college admission (the SAT/ACT). I think their willingness to fake and sell test results that students spend months and months of angst preparing for is far beyond a parent's attempt to get one or two of their kids into school.

I also disapprove of the shaming rituals the Government put these parents through -- starting with the 6 a.m. arrests by FBI agents at gunpoint as they were sleeping, many with children in the home.

The timing was no accident. This was a coordination of teams of FBI agents around the country, from California, Nevada, and Colorado to Connecticut, New York, Florida and more. It's routine in large drug or gang cases – simultaneous arrests minimize the chance of one subject getting word of the bust to co-conspirators, who might then flee or destroy evidence. But in this case, not a single parent was a flight risk.

Had the parents been informed of the charges, all would have gotten lawyers, not plane tickets. Since all but one parent was initially charged by Information rather than Grand Jury Indictment, there was no grand jury secrecy rule to stop prosecutors from giving the parents or their lawyers a heads up as to the charges so they could surrender instead of being arrested.

Relatedly, has anyone remarked on how unwealthy and disheveled the parents looked at the courthouse on the day of their first appearance? Some of the men were wearing flip flops. One wore a ski parka with a lot of dirty spots over a suit jacket. Felicity Huffman had zero makeup on, etc. This was by design. The intent was clear: wake the parents up, scare the daylights out of them, and humiliate them in a way that wouldn’t be possible once they lawyered up, by shouting at them to get up, throwing some old clothes at them, and informing them they are going downtown and no they can’t have a few minutes to dress on their own.

Really, what evidence was left to destroy? The prosecutors already had the parents’ wiretapped conversations, text messages, phone detail records, emails, bank account records, GPS phone tracker data, as well as car trackers and more.

My theory (and it's just a theory as I have no inside information) is that the only thing they didn't have was the parents' cell phones, which would be with them at their homes at 6 am, but not if they went downtown to surrender voluntarily at pretrial services or the Marshal's office with their lawyers. They would have left their phones with their driver or in their car, or with their lawyers.

Why would the government want their cell phones? To get a search warrant (if they didn’t already have one) to download the contents of their phone for photos and contacts that might lead them to others involved in the scheme. The Government repeatedly stresses this investigation is not over.

I wonder if any of the parents were caught so off-guard being woken up by FBI agents with guns telling them to get up, get dressed, they are going downtown, that when the agents asked them for permission to search their phones, they didn’t just consent. Or if the agents obtained their consent for their phones by telling them if they didn't consent, they'd remain at the house until they got a warrant for the phones, and by then the media would be crawling all over them. (Again, this is speculation as it’s possible the agents arrived with sealed search warrants as well as the arrest warrants).

What can the parents and coaches do now to stay out of prison or lessen their sentence if convicted? Fight the charges. Maybe they can use the Donald Trump, Jr. defense that they didn't know they'd be breaking the law.Or, cooperate. Tell the agents and prosecutors about any friends and relatives who also paid Singer and got their kids in and 'fess up at to who it was in their circle of friends or business associates who led them to Singer in the first place. The feds already have this info from Singer, but having a second person corroborate the details helps. No one likes to bring a case based on the uncororroborated testimony of a cooperator, even though in federal court that's sufficient to convict. The feds have disclosed in plea agreements that some of the parents and at least one of the indicted coaches are cooperating to get lesser sentences.

The feds certainly took out their blunt force tool to use on the parents: Offer them a deal on the charges in the Complaint, and tell them if they don’t accept right now, before they’ve even had a chance to review all the evidence against them with their lawyers, they'll face an Indictment with additional charges of money laundering. At least half the parents went this route. Here is the second superseding Indictment with the additional charges against the parents who refused to take the government's offers.

Several of the charged parents who did not take a deal are among the wealthiest of the parents -- worth hundreds of millions of dollars and they and their families are major league philanthropists, not only in their communities but globally. By contrast, what have the crooked coaches, the cheating test taker/faker and proctors contributed to society? It seems to me they were solely motivated by greed.

What's perplexing to me is that the really wealthy parents could so easily have donated a few million to the universities they wanted their kids to go to, and they likely would have been admitted with no laws broken. Isn’t that what Jared’s father did?

What I find troubling is the cooperation deals given to the coaches, who again, in my personal view, are at the top of moral culpability pyramid, just under Singer and Riddell. USC soccer coach Laura Jahnke took a cooperation deal this week. She's the one responsible for recommending Lori Laughlin's daughters get admitted as accomplished rowers when they were never on a rowing team. Although she took in between $250k and $500k, she's cooperating in exchange for a sentence below 27 months. Here's her plea and cooperation agreement.

Georgetown tennis coach Gordon Ernst took in 2.7 million in bribes, and in exchange, obtained admissions for 12 students, over a period of six years. How is that not more serious than a parent who just let Riddell correct their child's answers or take the test in lieu of their kid? Both are wrong and morally objectionable, but in terms of criminal conduct, I think the coach is far more culpable than the parents.

In any event, I think Felicity Huffman's early statement of remorse and acknowledgment of guilt will serve her quite well in the end. I wouldn't believe any headlines screaming she's off to the big house.

As for Lori Loughlin, she’s between a rock and a hard place as the amount of money she and her husband paid Singer, coupled with their alleged participation in the coach bribery part of the scheme for both of their daughters, make probation a tougher, but not impossible sell. At least she and her husband, by rejecting the government’s offer, will have time to review all the evidence and be able to participate meaningfully in their own defense.

Just because Loughlin rejected the first offer doesn’t mean the Government can’t make a second (and maybe even better offer) later on. Contrary to what prosecutors want everyone to believe, it’s not always the first to cooperate in a multi-defendant case who gets the best deal. Sometimes it’s the last one – the one who has been holding out for trial. A deal can be struck at any time, even in the middle of trial, or after a mistrial. That said, it doesn't give me great confidence to know this is the same U.S. Attorney's office (with a different person at the helm) who indicted Aaron Swartz.

This is hardly the first scandal involving the SAT tests. A few years ago in Long Island, a bunch of kids were charged. Here's the story of one named Sam , who was smart (like Riddell) and made a business of taking the tests in place of at least 15 other students. He pleaded guily and was sentenced to community service. who has gone on to not only go to college, but get a Masters Degree. He's now selling real estate.

There's a lot more to talk about in this case, particularly with respect to the parents who are not pleading and the deals the coaches get.

You can read the charges and plea agreements of everyone involved in the current case for free here , courtesy of DOJ.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Very good analysis, J (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Peter G on Thu May 16, 2019 at 02:53:43 PM EST
    Full of insight based on experience about how this "system" works. I didn't see anything in there that I would disagree with.

    I pity the students and the parents (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Jack E Lope on Tue May 21, 2019 at 10:54:19 AM EST
    Multiple factors have made the demand greatly exceed the supply.  There's a widespread belief in the US that one can't count on maintaining a middle-class income without a degree.  The gutting of publicly-funded primary and secondary education over the years has made a High School Diploma practically meaningless.   The rising number of "degree mills" has driven a preference for household-name universities, too.   In the past 15 years, the number of applicants to Ivy League schools has tripled, while the number of undergrads admitted has grown less than 10%.  (The Ivies are the most-extreme example, but other well-regarded universities have seen the number of applications skyrocket while they add very few, if any, positions for undergrads.)    Perfect SAT and GPA numbers no longer make an applicant certain to get admitted to one of the more-selective universities, so one must have 9 pieces of flair to add to the application - with at least one each in the categories of team sport, community involvement and leadership.

    I see the students as caught up in the system around them, if they knew what was going on.  Most were probably led to believe that this is the way it's done.  (Maybe that's true these days.)

    I have a little less pity for the parents, but again, someone offered them something.  The news stories emphasized the celebrity parents - I suppose they get more eyeballs that way - but I can picture the parents seeking legitimate, above-the-table assistance before being conned into going a bit farther.  

    As with drugs, the dealer profits from the need that the buyer feels.  I'm not feeling pity...but, everyone has their price, and the risk probably seemed small.

    As far as the amount of harm done to others, I think this was a tiny portion of all students admitted - so only a few students at the margin would have been crowded out, if any.  (The use of sports-team admits, for one thing, usually doesn't count against general-admissions numbers.)   There are worse things that happen.

    As far as fairness goes, money has been buying access for years, with plausible deniability and reasonable doubt of any criminal action - often for less money than spent by some of the celebs in the recent news stories.  (My own anecdote: Not-the-sharpest guy I knew in high school surprised a lot of us by going to a high-reputation SLACNET*.  We were then unsurprised to learn of the new room in the library, named-for and donated-by his family.  We used to call it the Dr. Seuss section.   It was actually for microfilm viewers and open stacks, which were a great research tool in their day.)

    Who-you-know can be like money, without prosecutable activity.

    Who-you-descend-from can be like money, without prosecutable activity.

    *SLACNET = Small Liberal Arts College in the New England Tradition, also known as a "Junior Ivy".

    Who are these people?! (4.50 / 2) (#1)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu May 16, 2019 at 02:05:32 PM EST
    I agree that most of them seemed to fold pretty quickly, and I assume they had some of the best lawyers around. Must have had some compelling reasons to take the first offer.

    Also, since all of the kids were below the native intelligence standards that these world-famous schools require for admission, often waaay below, yet it seemed all of the kids were able to pass their courses at these schools, what does that say for the education the schools are actually providing?

    It says (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by CST on Thu May 16, 2019 at 02:25:56 PM EST
    Everything I've ever suspected about USC is true...  and no, I'm not just bitter that I went to an engineering school notorious for not practicing grade inflation, that's only accounts for maybe half of my problem.

    On a more serious note it's a big reason why I take issue with the idea that financial status is in any way reflective of a meritocracy.

    Parent

    Ha! Dam Bruins. (none / 0) (#10)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu May 16, 2019 at 03:28:49 PM EST
    I just saw this, kinda old news I guess but new to me...

    Eight universities ensnared in the nationwide college admissions scheme in which 50 people were criminally charged are now being investigated by the U.S Education Department, according to an official with knowledge of the investigation.

    The "preliminary investigation" by the department is focused on whether there were any violations regarding federal student financial aid programs administered by the department under Title IV of the High Education Act, the official told Fox News.

    Letters from the department went out to college presidents on Monday of 8 schools including: Yale, Wake Forest, Stanford, and Georgetown universities, in addition to the University of San Diego; the University of Texas at Austin; the University of California, Los Angeles; and the University of Southern California.



    Parent
    letters to the other schools in the future - Berkley, Harvard, and Northwestern...

    Parent
    Do not assume they had "some of the best (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Peter G on Thu May 16, 2019 at 02:58:26 PM EST
    lawyers around" just because they had some of the most expensive lawyers around. From what I read of the lawyers' names, only one of "the best" is part of the defense for this case. In criminal defense, in particular, those two things do not go together as much as you might think.

    Parent
    Well there you go. Price =/= quality. (none / 0) (#8)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu May 16, 2019 at 03:22:58 PM EST
    Kinda like the schools they chose for their kids.

    Which lawyer is one of the best?

    Parent

    Actually, two of them (none / 0) (#12)
    by Peter G on Thu May 16, 2019 at 05:02:39 PM EST
    Thanks (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu May 16, 2019 at 05:20:12 PM EST
    you forgot (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Jeralyn on Fri May 17, 2019 at 12:52:15 AM EST
    David Chesnoff, who along with Marty Weinberg, is representing David Skidoo, a Canadian and the first parent charged by indictment rather than Information.

    Parent
    Great write up (1.00 / 3) (#2)
    by McBain on Thu May 16, 2019 at 02:09:36 PM EST
    I still think this scandal is a bit overrated and the parents who lie about their children's residence to get them into a different school is an underrated story.

    That has absolutely nothing to do ... (none / 0) (#24)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun May 19, 2019 at 04:28:40 PM EST
    ... with the topic at hand. This is Jeralyn's thread, not yours. Show her some respect, and don't hijack it to promote your own agenda.

    Parent
    If talking about cheating to give kids (1.00 / 1) (#26)
    by McBain on Sun May 19, 2019 at 05:11:54 PM EST
    an advantage over other kids in school isn't  close enough Jeralyn can remove my comment.  Pretty sure she wasn't offended by someone started with "Great write up". I'm just happy to have another thread that isn't Trump related.

    My only thoughts right now on Huffman and Loughlin are I'm hoping for no significant prison time. Yours?

    Parent

    Random thoughts (none / 0) (#3)
    by ragebot on Thu May 16, 2019 at 02:16:14 PM EST
    When you wrote

    They messed with the most uniform standard the nation has for college admission (the SAT/ACT)

    I had just finished reading this WSJ article about how "SAT to Give Students `Adversity Score' to Capture Social and Economic Background" detailing how SAT is now going to provide colleges with non transparent scores not based on test results but where test takers went to high school and lived.

    Maybe it is just inflation but way back in the day when I too the LSAT  (1974) it was fairly common knowledge you could pay $US200 to someone who would get a 600+ score for you.  Happy to say I got a 627 on my own with no prep; I was too cheap to pay for it.

    What bothers me most about this is how much a college education has changed since I was a student.  It use to be courses like freshman English were called flunk out courses to weed out the non serious students and students actually flunked out.  Now it is almost impossible for a student to flunk out.  Not to mention that many courses contribute nothing to enhancing job prospects.  The cost of a college education is also absurd.  Way too many students (both rich and not so rich) really don't belong in a university; but social pressure (or what ever you call it) forces them to think they need to go.

    Not saying many of these people don't deserve some punishment but it seems like a tempest in a teapot to me.  I find it hard to get upset about what happened.  It seems like there is plenty of crime to go around and maybe the feds should focus their energies some place else.

    I (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by FlJoe on Thu May 16, 2019 at 03:27:53 PM EST
    agree, it's rather small potatoes as far as white collar crime.

    Maybe it's a new "broken windows" approach to this problem.

    What's next stop and frisk on Rodeo Dr? Or better yet on Wall St... oh well a boy can still dream.


    Parent

    You missed one thing (5.00 / 4) (#15)
    by Repack Rider on Thu May 16, 2019 at 07:37:18 PM EST
    Singer ran a bogus charity, so parents could write off these huge sums as charitable donations, and cheat the government out of a lot of money.

    Parent
    so use correct charge (2.00 / 1) (#19)
    by thomas rogan on Fri May 17, 2019 at 02:30:42 PM EST
    then tax fraud charge is in order here

    Parent
    It takes a long time ... (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Yman on Fri May 17, 2019 at 08:01:19 PM EST
    ... to build a ta fraud case.  Those charges may be added in the future, but in the meantime, the financial crimes charged to date are very serious felonies.

    But no doubt Trump - who has his own, long history of tax cheating and a fraudulent "charity" - agrees with you.

    Parent

    Filing a false tax return is a misdemeanor (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Peter G on Fri May 17, 2019 at 08:09:24 PM EST
    It takes more than that to make a case of attempted evasion of tax (the criminal felony commonly referred to as "tax fraud").

    Parent
    Oops. Should have checked before posting (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Peter G on Fri May 17, 2019 at 08:17:07 PM EST
    from memory. Willful failure to file (or failure to pay) is a misdemeanor. But knowingly filing a false return is a felony, albeit a minor one: three year maximum. The "capstone" offense, as they say, is attempted evasion of assessment or collection, a five-year felony.

    Parent
    As long as they go to prison (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Repack Rider on Fri May 17, 2019 at 09:37:08 PM EST
    ...who cares what the charges are?

    Parent
    Students flunk out of college all the time. (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun May 19, 2019 at 05:02:33 PM EST
    ragebot: "It [used] to be courses like freshman English were called flunk out courses to weed out the non serious students and students actually flunked out.  Now it is almost impossible for a student to flunk out."

    The average "freshman retention rate," as it is referenced academically, depends on the college or university a student attends. Ivy League schools tend to lose very few freshmen, with over 95% of them returning for the sophomore years. But for public colleges and universities, the rate of culling is much higher.

    Even the best and the brightest high school graduates can have trouble making the transition to postsecondary education, for a variety of reasons. For one thing, college courses tend to require much more study time than high school students are used to. Further, college courses are geared more toward conceptualization than are high school academics, which tend to focus on memory retention skills. And finally, if a student's writing skills are not up to par, he or she is going to have a very tough time in college.

    Underachievers tend to be the most vulnerable. Of those college freshmen who must take remedial classes to get off the ground academically, about 75% will not make it to graduation. Nearly 50% of students who must take introductory "weed out" courses at colleges and universities fail those courses.

    I'm presently pursuing my doctorate in U.S. history, and I've taught at a college level. Personally, I have no problem failing those students who fail to complete the course work to my satisfaction. And I daresay those here who are teachers would likely tell you the same.

    While I don't want to sound cold and elitist, I'm nevertheless of the opinion that not everyone is necessarily suited for higher education. But I also know a number of people who later returned to college when they were well into adulthood, which may reflect either a level of maturity they likely didn't possess at age 18, or a better socio-economic situation than they had as a young adult.

    Aloha.

    Parent

    Students are not flunking out (none / 0) (#35)
    by ragebot on Tue May 21, 2019 at 11:25:52 AM EST
    They are just leaving for other reasons.

    I rest my case.

    Parent

    I agree that (none / 0) (#5)
    by CST on Thu May 16, 2019 at 02:30:45 PM EST
    The worst actors are the people who did it for personal financial reasons, as acting for your children is much more sympathetic. The worst part is I'd like to say they weren't really helping their kids in the long run by cheating, but that's not the America I know. Getting caught didn't help, but the cheating probably would have otherwise.

    Frankly I just hope people start getting wise to the racket that a lot of private colleges have become, and we do more to support public universities and low tuition.

    I avoid reading too much about any of it (none / 0) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 16, 2019 at 05:21:06 PM EST
    I am trying to enjoy Josh's first year of college, and that isn't easy. He wanted to live on campus, an hour away, and he got a full tuition scholarship all by himself likely assisted mostly by his AP English instructor at Springbrook and the career counselor who helped him shop himself to the schools he was interested in.

    But Josh's health is still fragile. A respiratory infection can land him in the ICU immediately. So the first semester was mostly just one long panic attack for me. The second one not so bad.

    Reading about any of this probably wouldn't make me feel better either. So nah

    I'll bet today is another day that you thank (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Peter G on Thu May 16, 2019 at 07:42:37 PM EST
    your lucky stars that you and your daughter got the h*ll out of Alabama, Tracy. What a bunch of woman-hating loony-birds.

    Parent
    She is unfortunately still (none / 0) (#17)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 16, 2019 at 07:46:24 PM EST
    There Peter. Nothing custody-wise has been settled yet.

    Parent
    The linked story about their home (none / 0) (#28)
    by Towanda on Mon May 20, 2019 at 11:54:22 AM EST
    cracks me up, with the statement about their "good values."

    As a teacher, not a lawyer, I can't get into the discussion here as the lawyers do.  I abhor cheating and all involved in this and want all of them severely penalized.

    And I pity the entitled children who may not have known what their parents were doing to entitle them to even more.

    But I have no pity for the entitled children who must have known that there was something weird about crew and other scholarships, when they never had participated in the sports.

    I also pity the professors of these entitled children. I have had to deal with this sort of students and their parents. They did make my retirement easier to do . . . but now I see my daughter dealing with this as a third-grade teacher.

    Third grade. Seriously.  And some of the parents that bully her are probably reading news coverage of this as a how-to manual for getting their entitled children into college, since their children will need to cheat to get there, because their parents are all about the grades and not accepting that the grades indicate that their entitled children are not understanding the material. And the parents won't accept my daughter's offer to tutor them one-on-one until they get it.

    Nope, just change the grade.  In third grade.

    ...and now it's being reported that (none / 0) (#29)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon May 20, 2019 at 12:47:11 PM EST
    Singer advised them to falsely claim to be minorities on their colleges applications, and at least several of the kids did so.

    "It's being reported" where, (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Peter G on Mon May 20, 2019 at 02:14:23 PM EST
    pray tell?

    Parent
    Well, I believe the WSJ broke the story (none / 0) (#32)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon May 20, 2019 at 02:31:06 PM EST
    but it's behind a paywall.

    On some applications that Mr. Singer's operation handled, applicants may have claimed to be underrepresented minorities based on a tenuous connection, such as a distant relative of Native American ancestry, said one of the people familiar with his business," the Journal article said. "In one case, the person said, a teenager was presented as Native American when 'there was absolutely nothing Native American about this kid.'"


    Parent
    Also, one of the kids kicked out of Gtown (none / 0) (#30)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon May 20, 2019 at 02:04:14 PM EST
    is suing the school. Apparently, the kids are not getting their credits from the school after being booted out?

    Also, he seemed to have HS grades and scores that were w/in the range of admitted students, not that that means he would have gotten in w/o his parents cheating, and also carried just above a 3.0 at Gtown. And, supposedly, he had no knowledge of the cheating his parents did for him (fake tennis player).

    Here comes your 19th nervous breakdown (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by jondee on Mon May 20, 2019 at 06:50:32 PM EST
    with this get-ahead-at-all-costs pressure cooker atmosphere going on, it's no wonder so many young people are screwed-up and self-medicating.

    Take 'er easy people. Rome wasn't built in a day.

    Parent