Episode 106 - The Great College Con: Operation Varsity Blues - 16:1 - An Education Podcast Episode 106 - The Great College Con: Operation Varsity Blues - 16:1 - An Education Podcast

Episode 106 - The Great College Con: Operation Varsity Blues

April 11, 2024

World Events in EducationHigher Education

Education Headline Roundup

This week in the roundup of latest news and headlines impacting education:

The Great College Con: Operation Varsity Blues

This week we take a walk through the concealed corridors of privilege and power within the U.S. college admissions system. A wide-ranging scandal known as Operation Varsity Blues (unveiled in March 2019) reflects the complex, often unseen mechanisms that shape educational access and equity at some of the U.S.’s most elite colleges and universities.

Operation Varsity Blues exposed a network of wealthy parents and college coaches, who with an orchestrator named Rick Singer manipulated admissions systems to favor their children, often without the students’ knowledge. Singer’s scheme involved a so-called “side door” into prestigious colleges, and his activities facilitated more than $25 million in bribes. Through fabricated athletic profiles and manipulated standardized test scores, the scandal implicated celebrities, executives, and coaches. The scandal prompted a reevaluation of admissions policies and the role of standardized testing in evaluating scholastic merit.

We’ll discuss whether meritocracy has become a myth, what part test-optional policies play in admissions reform, the impact on student mental health brought by the college application rat race, and how college rankings apply pressure to the admissions process.

Thanks for listening!

Sources & Resources:

Watch Out: Tornado Alley Is Migrating Eastward | Scientific American

Iowa vs. South Carolina TV ratings: How 2024 NCAA women’s championship broadcast compares to other sports

Ohio’s Board of Education expresses budget crisis following education department overhaul | 10tv.com

Ohio school board may raise teacher license fees as budget shortfall looms

Oregon schools’ pandemic recovery lags behind much of the nation : NPR

Oregon Literacy Crisis: State distributes millions in grants aimed at reading education

A Crisis of School Absences – The New York Times

What’s It Like To Be a Teacher in America Today? | Pew Research Center

Absent Peers, Present Challenges: The Differential Impact of In-Person and Virtual Classmate Absences on Future Attendance | Texas Tech College of Education

TV celebrities and coaches charged in college bribery scheme | AP News

Web Archive – About The Key

Do donations influence college admissions? | Higher Ed Dive

Actresses, Business Leaders and Other Wealthy Parents Charged in U.S. College Entry Fraud – The New York Times

Who’s Been Charged in the College Admissions Cheating Scandal? Here’s the Full List – The New York Times

College Admissions Scandal: Full List of People Sentenced

What Happened to the Students Caught Up in the College Admissions Scandal? – The New York Times

SAT Quiz: Can You Answer Questions From the Original Test? | TIME

MLB, players union trade blame for pitcher injuries as MLBPA condemns pitch clock, league faults velocity – CBSSports.com

16:1 Educator Newsletter

16:1 is launching an email newsletter! Join our mailing list for news and updates designed by educators, for educators!

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

We use Brevo as our marketing platform. By submitting this form, you acknowledge that the information you provided will be transferred to Brevo for processing in accordance with their terms of use. You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.

News & Event Announcements
Stay informed on the latest education headlines and learn about upcoming events hosted by 16:1 podcast and Moonbeam Multimedia.
Job Postings & Resources
Sign up for educator resources, job postings from partner organizations, and more!

Contact 16:1

Have a question? Suggestion for an upcoming show? Want to partner with 16:1? We’d love to hear from you. Please contact us using the form below.