Stories
American Higher Education System Is World of Corruption
Next Post

Press {{ keys }} + D to make this page bookmarked.

Close
Photo: edweek.org/PrtSc

American Higher Education System Is World of Corruption

3645

USA – March 13, 2019

We often hear that the American system of higher education is the best in the world and that American universities are the most prestigious and transparent. Such an “ideology” has been promoted by thousands of marketing and PR specialists for decades, and the same belief is taken up by today’s leftist professors and activists who occupy the campuses and deem themselves masters in the sphere of education. Yet, contrary to popular opinion, what the American education system is is really a world of brutal corruption and a million-dollar market. Here is why.

Even the mainstream media couldn’t ignore the recent scandal, which proves this in the best possible way. Imagine you’re a simple yet smart kid from middle-of-nowhere Oklahoma with the dream of attending an elite college, and you have every moral right to this dream: You get all A’s and all the scholarships are open to you.

If the higher education system wasn’t so corrupt, you would easily become the best student in some prestigious school. Unfortunately, your place in Yale or Georgetown is already being occupied by some fortunate son--and it ain’t you. You ain’t no senator son.

For example, Hollywood actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin and a slew of chief executives are among 50 wealthy people charged in the largest college cheating scam ever prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice, federal officials said Tuesday. In the times when movies and series have even more influence on society than politicians, and millions of people watch it worldwide, these actors (who usually play good characters) acting like complete villains in real life seems especially disgusting.

The scale of the fraud and corruption is quite enormous, since those indicted in the investigation, dubbed "Operation Varsity Blues," allegedly paid bribes of up to $6.5 million to get their children into elite colleges, including Yale, Stanford, Georgetown and the University of Southern California, according to the federal prosecutors.

"This case is about the widening corruption of elite college admissions through the steady application of wealth combined with fraud," Andrew Lelling, the U.S. attorney for the District of Massachusetts, said at a news conference. America has always been a divided nation, but what we see nowadays (for instance, the drastic division on the basis of the income and so-called “social connections”) is something incredibly harmful even for a society that already adapted to the capitalist rules of the game decades ago.   

"There can be no separate college admissions system for the wealthy and, I'll add, there will not be a separate criminal justice system either," Lelling added. Well said, Mr. Lelling, but would you have the courage to counteract the entire American elite interested in “educating their golden children?”

According to Lelling, the ringleader of the scam is William Singer, owner of a college counseling service called Key Worldwide Foundation and a company called Edge College & Career Network. Singer allegedly accepted bribes totaling $25 million from parents between 2011 and 2018 "to guarantee their children's admission to elite schools," Lelling said.

Steven Masera, 69, the accountant and financial officer for the Edge College & Career Network and the Key Worldwide Foundation, was also indicted, according to court documents. Masera and Mark Riddell, a private school counselor in Bradenton, Florida, allegedly worked closely with Singer in the scam, according to the indictment.

Mikaela Sanford, 32, of Folsom, California, another employee of the Edge College & Career Network and the Key Worldwide Foundation, and David Sidoo, 59, of Vancouver, Canada, were also indicted for allegedly working closely with Singer to facilitate the scam, according to the indictment.

According to the information revealed, Singer would allegedly instruct parents to seek extended time for the children to take entrance exams or obtain medical documentation that their child had a learning disability, according to the indictment, and the parents, in their turn, were then told to get the location of the test changed to one of two testing centers, one in Houston and another in West Hollywood, California, where test administrators Niki Williams, 44, of Houston and Igor Dvorskiy, 52, of Sherman Oaks, California, helped carry out the scam, the indictment alleges. So many people knew about it, and everybody kept it secret.

Of course, this problem didn’t appear yesterday, but has been serious in the U.S. for years, only being revealed relatively recently. This is just one of many recent examples of the corruption in this field, and it doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with fraud during the entrance exams. Sometimes the schemes the universities are involved in are much deeper.

Back in early 2014, an email from President Breuder was leaked to the Chicago Tribune that was subsequently obtained by a government watchdog group pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act request. The email reportedly discussed a $20 million “pay to play” scheme involving the College of DuPage and then-Governor Pat Quinn of Illinois. According to the reports, President Breuder discussed with certain Board of Trustee members leveraging the appearance of the Governor for the school’s commencement address to obtain $20 million in state construction grants.

The reports suggest that while the funds were no longer needed for the project that they were originally intended for, President Breuder was attempting to come up with some other project so that the college could receive the $20 million. The emails reportedly indicate that Breuder would use the commencement ceremony appearance to drum up votes for the Governor in his reelection bid later that year. Upon the release and publication of the emails, Governor Quinn withdrew the funds from consideration for the College of DuPage. In November 2014 Governor Quinn lost his bid for reelection.

Thus, next time you hear that American universities are the best and most transparent in the world – remember this simply isn’t true.

Author: USA Really