Cheaters vs. Failures: What's Your Hope for Your Kid?

SATEver since cops started rounding up teenagers involved in an SAT testing scandal on New York's Long Island, I've been thinking about their parents. Were these kids paying someone to take these tests because they were lazy, or did they have moms and dads who pushed them too hard? I'm going on the record right now as a mother: I'd rather my kid bomb the SAT than cheat, and I don't care what that does to her chance at getting into a good school.

Come on people, what exactly does a degree from a "good school" do for our kids? Diddly if they're lying, cheating, conniving scumbags at the end of the day!


Out on Long Island, word has it the kids were putting up as much as $3,600 for someone to show up at a local high school with a fake ID and sit for the ACT or SAT. So far only the kids and the alleged test takers have been arrested -- more than 20 people in all. No parents.

Now I never lived in a tony New York suburb. I see $3,600 as a nice down payment on a car. But let's suppose that load of cash is something that the average teenager can get their hands on without their parents' knowledge. Let's say the parents weren't complicit in this little scheme at all.

They still raised these kids to think the key to life is a good SAT score. What does that tell you? That they put the prestige of a number and a "good school" above honesty, hard work, ethics. Imagine! You can brag to all the neighbors at the community Christmas party that Little Billy is going to Stanford! And next Christmas you can hide out in your den with the lights off when the carolers come by because you don't want to have to talk about Little Billy's arrest for setting up that paper-writing ring in his dorm!

We don't raise our kids so we can brag about their accomplishments. We raise them to be happy, productive members of society. As someone who went to a top-rated college, I'd love to see my daughter do the same. But I'll be just as happy if she picks a state school (hello in-state tuition!) where she majors in something that sets her heart afire.

How about you? Do you care what your kid's SAT score will be?


Image via Casey Serin/Flickr

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