In a 2002 article with the unwieldy title, “Paying for a Disability Diagnosis to Gain Time on College Boards,” The New York Times reported on a breathtakingly cynical way for rich parents to game the system in order to give their kids an unfair advantage on the SATs, Advanced Placement exams, and other College Board–sanctioned college entrance tests.
The scam is based on the fact that kids diagnosed with learning disabilities are given extra time on their tests. The whole idea of learning disabilities is problematic, but let that pass for now. The scandal reported in the Times article is about kids who do not have such disabilities, but whose wealthy parents are able to shop around for a dctor willing to make a phony diagnosis, just so the kid can get the extra time on his College Boards.
If this is really happening in any numbers, it is truly an affront to our ideal of meritocracy.
Hmmm. Barham hopes that psychologists who collude with Mrs. Ivy League to make sure that her son Adsum gets into the school where her ex-husband pulls strings as a wealthy alumnus will go to jail. But how likely is that, really?
Mrs. League’s logical defense will be, “I pay thousands of dollars a year for the social workers of women on social assistance to get those women’s kids classified as learning disabled. So they can get perks, credits, and entry into degree mills, then the government make work jobs that I also support. In return, I insist on my little private enterprise to make sure that my designer Adsum can be introduced in public as a chip off the old block[head].
One senses that the establishment quietly colludes with Mrs. Ivy League and many like her to this day. It is as close as a corrupt system can come to fair play and equality.
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