DON’T Blame Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin for using the system. FIX IT!
Blockchain is uniquely positioned for an incredible opportunity arising from the most recent scandal to rock the United States broken college admission system.
The United States Justice Department recently announced the largest college admission cheating scandal prosecution in history. What the Federal Bureau of Investigation dubbed, “Operation Varsity Blues,” allegedly uncovered bribery, money laundering conspiracy, conspiracy to defraud the U.S., tax conspiracy, and obstruction of justice, and a host of other crimes according to the U.S. Justice Department criminal complaint. This operation snared 50 of the American rich, including Hollywood actresses, CEO’s of major corporations, D-1 athletic coaches, university admissions officers, and many wealthy and elite citizens.
From my personal point of view, for the record, I’m the father of a child initially recognized as gifted at 3-years-old. He had to be State tested by the way, which he was later, to get that designation. This kind of system has already impacted us. Let’s change it.
BUT I do not believe it’s fair that Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin should shoulder all of the blame! Say what?
I do not believe it’s fair that Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin should shoulder all of the blame! Say what? Instead we can and should focus our energy on FIXING this system.
They are in the same crooked system we all are and they are taking advantage of that system. I cannot blame them for that. And even some of the other 50 accused have been actively working to help balance this system.
This scandal has it all, celebrity, bribery, collusion, power, class, race, identity politics. One thing that also has presented itself is an opportunity. An opportunity to showcase just the possibilities are with a simple Blockchain application that can be deployed in junior high school to map students direction.
When I present this thesis that Blockchain can fix ALL of the things involved in this most shocking scandal, what has been stated by the New York Times as, “the Justice Department’s largest ever college admissions prosecution,” I am not speaking literally.
Although there are some literal instances that Blockchain applications can directly solve -such as the fake photoshopped perspective students heads on the bodies of real athletes - there are other shocking scandal instances detailed here that no amount of technology will fix. (Ruh Ro!) Other than to say had a Blockchain solution been in place, none of this could have happened
The college cheating scandal should not be a surprise to anyone because we all have long known wealthy people get special treatment. Many late night comedians joked about it.
According to the Hollywood Reporter.com, (Trevor) Noah then pointed out that the story exemplified the wealth inequality in America, and how the rich have always attempted to give their offspring a leg up on the competition: “This story is so infuriating, rich kids should get into college the old-fashioned way — by their parents donating a library,” he joked.
A Blockchain solution can provide a direct benefit to the college admissions as a forecasting resource to determine how children are progressing in their path towards college. It can also show them what kids they might be missing out on when the storm of applications descends on their desk. This can include both an academic record and athletic record.
A long-tail record that goes back to junior high school collecting your academic records, certificates of achievement, recommendations from teachers, using a secure immutable ledger becomes a verifiable portfolio that administrators can use and with your permission be allowed to tap into for screening purposes. It can include video and pictures from their theater performances, athletic successes, and overall class compositions.
Chris Jagers CEO of Learning Machine, has been working with MIT to develop an open standard for Blockchain certificates, and mainly how it applies to academic credentialing.
From a Medium post, Jagers states: “There’s been a lot of genuine excitement around using the blockchain within higher education (and beyond) because the promise is immense. The promise is that it will enable students to hold and share their own official records directly with others in a manner that is safe, tamper-proof, and trusted. We’re talking about degrees, transcripts, certifications, badges … everything. That is a really big deal.”
Oracle backs up the point, that Blockchain technology can solve this issue.
Oracle backs up the point that Blockchain technology can solve this issue. According to a recent Oracle Brandvoice Forbes article by Kevin Roebuck, “Blockchain offers a model for the secure collection and sharing of all of your competency indicators, including academic records but also badges, certificates, citations, letters of recommendation, and the like. Think of it as an immutable, updatable and verifiable e-portfolio of your learning-oriented life experiences. For similar reasons, blockchain will be instrumental in avoiding fraud, providing a trusted means to establish that you are who you claim to be.”
Today’s schools are using technology to handle tests and enter grades. My oldest son used iPads in his high school. With the growing use of this technology, it becomes easier to become connected and create these records.
An immutable ledger of transactions can be used by the Department of Education in order to track a students progress in several different areas. That ledger can then be available to college admissions officers in a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, bi-annual and annual basis.
Tom Vander Ark, a Forbes contributor, wrote a piece with assistance from Educause and CB Insights that highlights different use case scenarios for Blockchain’s distributed ledger technology (DLT). He found 26 ways that DLT can be deployed in our education system. One way he discussed was Sony Global Education developed a educational platform in partnership with IBM that uses blockchain to secure and share student records.
Storing a comprehensive learner record on a distributed ledger may prove computationally intensive and, as a result, prohibitively expensive. As Pittinsky predicted, DLT may just be used as a directory rather than a data warehouse.
The more challenging part will be for the athletic departments. Why? Because you would need to create a mutual system of trust between coaches in the recording of results until high school level, where records are mutually kept. Then they will already have a record of what different achievements athletes are having on their schools.
This doesn’t say that other factors will not determine overall admission status. Without going too deep into the technological part, let’s look at:
11 of the MOST SHOCKING things from the “Varisty Blues,” College Cheating Scandal:
- KelleyAnne Conway, White House Senior Advisor, decided it was appropriate to taunt the two Hollywood actresses allegedly involved in the plot on twitter. Her politics and policies aside, isn’t the White House above taunting alleged perps? “Be Best” KelleyAnne “Be Best!”
2. One of the accused, Olivia Jade was on the Yacht of USC Board Chairman, Rick Caruso, traveling to the Bahamas at the time of the governments announcement of the indictments. Caruso is a former attorney.
NOT the Gregory Abbott that wrote, the 1986 hit, “Shake You Down.”
3. The New York Post interviewed Malcolm Abbott, whose parents Gregory and Marcia Abbott allegedly paid $125,000 to inflate his sister’s scores. This is NOT the Gregory Abbott that wrote the 1986 hit, “Shake You Down.” He defended his parents while outside of their New York City Fifth Avenue apartment, while smoking weed and then hawked his own mix tape, according to the New York Post.
4. Will there be buyers remorse? The FBI estimates the scam netted $25 million! Some people paid as high as $6.2 million for the services. Reading through some of the court affidavit there was one person who paid $110,000 for a spot into USC, and when they changed their mind and bailed, someone else behind them paid $500,000 for the same spot.
5. Students were falsely labeled as Disabled to take tests.
6. Students ethnicity were faked to take advantage of Affirmative Action, remember the program most wealthy elites hate, except when they’re using it to get their children in college or obtain fat government contracts.
7. Facebook was literally used to pay for one person’s bribe! Poor Facebook. One student had his parents trade 2,150 shares of Facebook, Inc. stock to pay off their bribe, as told by the indictment. They also wrote it off as a charitable contribution.
8. Adobe isn’t off the hook either! Photoshop was generously used to put the pics of these non-athletic kids on bodies of athletic kids, the ones that earned it, in order for them to skate through admissions committees, such as USC’s athletic committee.
9. Hallmark has terminated their contract with Lori Loughlin for “When Calls The Heart,” because if she’s convicted she no longer fits with their brand. But the cast and producers are still continuing with the show. The show must go on!
10. “This is not TJ Maxx or Marshall’s or something like that,” is how one of the defendants chided one of the overeager-parents who thought all they had to do was handover $160,000 to the Stanford sailing coach. This reminds me of the Jack Nicholson line in “The Departed.” When his thug cannot believe the police found the body of one of their own dead and laughed, Nicholson chided him, “This ain’t reality TV!!”
11. Uh Uh Oh, Green Giant. One young student had his 5'5" magically inflated to 6'1" for USC. I’m not sure how anyone thought this was a good idea? But most of the time, students whose parents used this bribery system were assured that their children need only attend the athletic orientation.
And your bonus because, just because:
12. Ruh Ro! Huffman had arranged for her daughter to take a college PSAT test as a disabled child. But instead of her daughter going to the designated testing center arranged by the company, her daughter’s high school counselor decided to proctor the test. The indictment stated, “Huffman forwarded the email to CW-1 with the note, ‘Ruh Ro! Looks like [my daughter’s high school] wants to provide their own proctor.”
Really, Blockchain can fix all of this kind of mess and encourage parents to pay for tutors and instructors instead of bribes!