Phi Beta Cons

An International Sensation

A nugget of truth sometimes lies within quirky hoaxes.

A competitive Korean female high schooler who lives in America invented a whopper—that she had received a telephone call from Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg to recruit her to attend Harvard College, his alma mater. As reported in the Washington Post, the phone call was part of what has turned into a tissue of lies including the student’s fabrication that she had been accepted at both Harvard and Stanford and that the two schools agreed to the novel and unprecedented idea to allow her to attend Stanford for the first two years and Harvard the last two.

The student attends Thomas Jefferson High, a science and technology magnet school in the Washington, D. C. area. But her fame for the unprecedented (and non-existent) Stanford/Harvard joint program became a sensation in South Korea. Using the pseudonym Sara, the South Korean media ballyhooed her accomplishment, calling her a math prodigy and “genius girl.” The phone call from Zuckerberg only fed the frenzy.

Alas, Sara made the stories up. Some say she was the victim of the cutthroat competition at Thomas Jefferson High School.  Merely being accepted to college is a sort of failure at the school, with the bar set to be accepted to all eight Ivy League schools and the highest ranked math and science colleges in the US.

Indeed, most Thomas Jefferson students are prodigies.

And 70 percent are Asian. The statistic makes one thing painfully clear:  If dumbed-down testing, affirmative action, and self-esteem methods are abandoned, Asians are clearly the smartest in the land. That’s why major universities use admission quotas to keep down the percentage of Asians accepted. That is also why American scholastic achievement is a fraud.

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