Chinese cheating culture

Does that count as alliteration? I’ve been out of journalism too long.

Anyway, it turns out that the most successful Chinese students are cheaters. This is a surprise to everyone except people who have actually known any Asian students:

In many cases, according to anecdotal evidence and hard-data surveys, the successful Chinese applicants will have cheated their way into college.
There are now 57,000 Chinese undergraduates at American universities, as my colleague Tamar Lewin reports. Five years ago, there were just 10,000. And top private universities in the United States now have freshman classes with 15 percent foreign students or more.

Mark McDonald
Sneaking Into Class from China
The New York Times

Chinese parents leave no doubts about their expectations. And playing fair is for loser chumps.

In many cases, according to anecdotal evidence and hard-data surveys, the successful Chinese applicants will have cheated their way into college.
There are now 57,000 Chinese undergraduates at American universities, as my colleague Tamar Lewin reports. Five years ago, there were just 10,000. And top private universities in the United States now have freshman classes with 15 percent foreign students or more.

Ibid.

Because they lack the necessary context, John Everypundit and his mother are coming to the wrong conclusions about this little study. This behavior is not a symptom, nor merely a cultural difference. Cheating like this exists because cheaters are rewarded with success!

And this brings me back to my favorite, softest punching bag: the use of education as a proxy class system(1). It may be true that college students are more successful, but it’s becoming clearer and clearer that their success has nothing to do with learning. It’s an empirical fact that most graduates have no more basic literacy in civics than they did as incoming freshmen. (To talk to ’em, you’d think they were Google-searching savants. “Yeah, I watch the Daily Show because that’s the only unbiased news source.”)

The fact is that graduates are only more successful due to the existence of HR departments. Even MBAs are getting wise to the fact that a college degree doesn’t guarantee a 3rd-grade reading level, so the only reason most jobs still require a degree is to keep up appearances. And let’s face it, immigration hawks have guaranteed that labor is in excess supply and low demand.

There’s also the positive correlation between educational attainment and conscientiousness (and some other variables), but I think those are side-effects rather than motive causes.

In the case of Chinese cheating, the only surprise is that we’ve successfully brainwashed our own population into thinking they shouldn’t grab the low-hanging diplomas. It’s not like the college experience would have done them any intellectual good.

(1) I’m familiar with the idea that college tuition really took off after it became a proxy for IQ tests, which were made illegal…okay, difficult for employers to administer legally after the Supreme Court decision in Griggs vs. Duke Power. But this is no longer true, as no one can remember the dark days before Griggs. Now employers just have a sort of vague notion that degree good, no degree bad.

About Aeoli Pera

Maybe do this later?
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