Thursday, 23 October 2014

The Fake Issue

A while back, the University of North Carolina stumbled across something that had a 'bad' smell.  It was a suggestion that some student-athletes of the past had taken bogus classes.  So, a audit guy was brought in....former federal prosecutor.  After months of review, his report went to the college leadership.

Basically, the college staff had rigged up fake courses, which were entirely built for their marginal student-athletes....giving them passing grades to pass through the minimum requirements to stay at the university and play sports.  The fake passing grades?  That led onto fake credits, and one might assume at this point.....fake degrees.

Various counselors knew about the fake classes and how they worked....using them for their prized players.  From the two articles I read over.....it went on for eighteen years and ended around 2011.  It's not clear why it ended....although I suspect that someone stumbled onto this deal in 2010, and the university wised up to clean up it's mess without saying much.

I'm pretty sure that most of the top NCAA football and basketball programs all work the same way.  If the NCAA put forth a real audit across the whole spectrum.....you'd find they all have to function this way.  Without the dimwitted star players?  The NCAA sports spectrum would be nowhere near it's lofty status today.

What bothers me about this....is that now this bit of evidence exists over the degrees or credits attained by past graduates of the school.  Logic would dictate a review be accomplished.....credits removed....degrees be suspended....until the individual finishes a legit course or program.  Personally, I think the school ought to offer the classes freely....although having roughly 3,000 individuals put in this unique position means a fair loss for the university.

All of this cast a bad light on university degrees and their actual value.  Here are 3,000 folks walking around with some of degree, and it's fake.  The guy has long moved past sports.....maybe teaching in some high school, running a sales job for some national firm, or doing sports coverage for some network.  He pretends for the most part that he's gifted and knowledgeable, but with the fake classes.....he's more of a pretender.

But behind all of this....what if the whole class program across the nation was fake and a large portion of graduates over the past thirty years were mostly fakes?  We sit here now wondering why kids in high schools aren't learning much.....why common core's chief operating strategy is simply to make the teacher read a script.....and why gifted college graduates seem like idiots at times?  Yeah, this audit might have opened a Pandora's Box.

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