This is one of those crazy stories that just keeps getting crazier.
And no, we’re not referencing the Mariners. Although is true that at the time of this writing, the Seattle baseball team boasted 13 wins against just three losses.
Sure, that can change faster than “Russia collusion.” But it is impressive for a team that is not supposed to be – and rarely has been – any good . . . to be that good.
And yes, you caught us.
Show us someone writing about baseball – not on the sports pages – and we’ll show you someone who doesn’t have an idea for a column.
But back to the crazy story - the one about the rich people who paid bribes to get their kids into a particular school – the news here is it just got crazier.
CBS News reported last week that some of the parents hired a guy who previously served time in prison to be their prison consultant.
You read right. They paid a guy to consult with them on going to prison. Good grief. These people got rich for different reasons – but it couldn’t have been because of their brains.
Of course, the entire scam was plenty crazy to begin with. The fact a couple of these people were actors only adds to the ruckus. In addition to the amount of cash involved, one of the strangest things is how easy it was to pull off.
It seems all it took was a few crooked people, Photoshop and one really smart guy. Rich people and crooks are fairly common, but that smart guy is intriguing.
The smart guy would take the college entrance test and he was so good, he could deliver whatever score was requested – including a perfect score.
The result was kids received higher test scores than they earned.
You know, just like Harvard.
William McGurn, who writes a great column for the Wall Street Journal, also hit on this – which gives two things to note.
First, while we wouldn’t pay $400,000 to get a kid into college, we are not beneath stealing material. Secondly, readers here will be shocked to learn some people write columns that are actually good.
The point is, at the same time parents faked test scores to get their kids into the “right” college – Harvard faked test scores to get the “right” kids.
Here’s what’s up.
Asian-American kids on average score much higher entrance tests than black, Latino and white kids. Despite their higher scores, Asian kids have a lower rate of admission to Harvard than black, Latino and white kids.
And it’s not just Harvard that discriminates against Asians. Other elite schools do the same.
In 2009, a Princeton sociologist studied 9,000 test scores and he found that 10 elite schools required Asian students to have much higher scores than black, Latino and white kids.
In effect these schools are just like those rich parents. They fake test scores.
The study showed black applicants had their scores boosted by 310 points while the boost for Latino students was 270 points. White kids, on average, were given a 140-point bonus.
We’re not here clamoring for leniency for rich, dumb parents who cheat for coddled kids. But it’s worth noting that fake test scores demand an FBI investigation in one instance – but are a matter of public policy in another.
But the timing could not be better. The Asian kids against whom Harvard discriminates because of their race – they sued.
So if parents go to prison for changing test scores – what should the courts do with fancy, wealthy, powerful universities that do the same?
DAN HAMMES is publisher of the Gazette Record and demands a recount on his SAT score.