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Just a few months after the Harvard anti-Asian discrimination trial opened in court, the college cheating scandal brought our nation’s college-admissions system into spotlight again. With conspirators across six states and a slew of top-tier schools, the case exposes layers of structural injustices inherent in the current college-entrance process. Flexible test schedules were handed out to able students masked with learning disabilities; test administrators shamelessly inflated SAT/ACT scores for clients’ children; college athletic coaches took millions of dollars and recruited ineligible applicants; and conspirators falsified the students’ ethnic identities to exploit race-based affirmative action.
In a nation where personal integrity goes hand-in-hand with institutional checks and balances, this repugnant scam challenges our collective virtues.
First-generation - Immigrant - Poverty - Education - Self-seeking
As a first-generation immigrant who was only able to escape extreme poverty through meritocratic education, I am disturbed by the self-seeking and detrimental actions of the rich and powerful who bought their children’s way into good schools. The flip side of their gaming the system and taking short cuts for their children is other children from ordinary families being robbed of much-needed, fair opportunities. This is clearly a slap in the face to the American dream, which promises that each American citizen should have an equal opportunity to achieve prosperity and success through hardworking, determination and initiative.
As a community leader at the forefront of Asian-American communities’ fight against racial discrimination in college admissions, I want to point out that Asian-American children from working-class families suffer the most from this broken college-admissions system. Like many others who are disadvantaged, they can neither afford test-prep lessons, nor participate in costly extracurricular activities. They are also taken advantaged by the rich and powerful as this scandal revealed. On top of that, they are further discriminated against due to unlawful racial stereotypes, covert quotas, and higher standards, all of which are prevalent...
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