The Washington D.C. Public Schools Chancellor resigned less than 13 months into his tenure after it was discovered he skirted the process for admission to the District’s most coveted high school in order to get his daughter into that school. A bad story got worse when it revealed that he had written the new process himself as part of his efforts to turn around the school system.
Adam Turtletaub spoke for all of us when he expressed amazement on this blog that doping impacted even curling, a sedate-appearing sport that most everyone falls in love with each winter Olympics. The idea that a parent might cheat to advance their child’s interests will cause far less surprise. A couple of years ago Lisa Miller explored the ethical and philosophical depths of this issue in a fascinating article. Miller’s article certainly discussed clear-cut acts of cheating to get advantages for one’s child, but focused more on “something slipperier than blatant cheating, a cut below sneaking answers into an exam, a hazy space where right and wrong seem porous.” Perhaps most sobering are her citations to research that suggests that the children who have been the recipients of this parental philosophy have far less of a moral compass than their elders. Of course, that certainly makes sense, what we do always sends a far more powerful message than what we say. [Read more…]