Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Admissions Scandal Reaches Legislature
By Felicia Mello | March 19, 2019 | CALmatters
When state legislators grilled University of California staff at a hearing Tuesday about the university’s response to the recent college admissions scandal, Assemblyman Kevin McCarty asked the question that’s been reverberating since the story broke last week.
“How do we reassure the public that the system is not totally rigged?”
It’s a dilemma for lawmakers who feel pressure to respond to a nationwide cheating scheme that cuts at the heart of higher education’s legitimacy. Among the dozens of people charged by federal law enforcement with using fake test scores and athletic profiles to secure admission for wealthy students at elite colleges, one was a UCLA soccer coach and another the parent of a UC Berkeley alumnus. The scandal stung all the more given the massive demand among Californians for a UC degree.
Though Tuesday’s hearing generated strong talk of crackdowns and expulsions, there are limits to what state government can and can’t do to prevent future scandals. State officials have little ability to influence the private schools at the center of the investigation, and even within California’s public university system, key decisions about admission are made within the ivory tower, by UC faculty and staff.
But legislators do have significant control over UC’s purse strings and the governor and lieutenant governor sit on the UC Board of Regents. Here are three takeaways from the state’s response so far.
UC policy allows campuses to admit up to six percent of each entering class as “admissions by exception,” meaning they don’t meet usual standards but have a special talent such as athletics or performing arts.
Those under-the-radar admissions are the kind the FBI alleges parents exploited at UC and elite private schools, by bribing sports coaches to bring on their children as walk-on players...
Full story at https://calmatters.org/articles/california-college-admissions-scandal-uc-legislature-sat-athletes/
Below is a link to the hearing. The discussion of the admissions scandal starts at minute 18:50.