[Letters] SAT cheating reveals greater ills

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[Letters] SAT cheating reveals greater ills



The recent arrests of four suspects involved with the theft and dissemination of SAT questions in Korea demonstrates one of the most dangerous issues in university admissions. The focus has shifted from a well-rounded education with true concept mastery to an unhealthy preoccupation with standardized tests. Certainly exams such as the SAT, Toefl and others have a place as objective measures of skill-but true academic worth ought to be based on the complete academic record. College admissions officers must ask themselves which is worth more: a genuine desire to contribute a lasting legacy for human knowledge, or two hours of multiple-choice questions?

The Jan. 13th earthquake in Haiti has cost hundreds of thousands their lives and left more than one million starving homeless. Surely top universities in the U.S. and other nations are better served by students with a desire to assist those in need rather than continuing to tolerate the shameless cheating, stealing and dishonesty prevalent in our schools. Korea is not alone in perpetuating a culture of academic dishonesty. Any university that allows student entry almost entirely on the basis of exam scores opens itself up to the possibility that its next crop of alumni are the most ambitious plagiarizers rather than masters of learning. Teachers, schools and parents must work together in tackling what has become a serious moral dilemma plaguing the education system.

Luiz Bravim,

English language instructor
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