Phi Beta Cons

Links From This Morning’s Papers

Yet another poseur fakes out Harvard:

He was admitted after claiming he was transferring from MIT, which he never attended. He also submitted bogus letters of recommendation from real Bowdoin professors, prosecutors charge.

Among the lies that Harvard apparently took at face value were claims that ranged from perfect SAT scores to a fictional high-school diploma from the elite Phillips Academy prep school in Andover, Mass.

Once at Harvard, Wheeler played the role of a top student, winning the Winthrop Sargent Prize in English, the Hoopes Prize and a research grant worth a total of $14,000 allegedly on the basis of plagiarized writing.

It wasn’t until last September when one Harvard prof finally grew suspicious after noticing that Wheeler’s Fulbright and Rhodes scholarship applications claimed straight A’s at Harvard and were chock full of “numerous books he co-authored, lectures he had given and courses he had taught,” Leone said.

Why does no one ever fake their way into Northwestern or Rice or Stanford? Why is it always Harvard?

When geek meets geek:

A college valedictorian had a special graduation gift for her boyfriend — a wedding proposal, which he accepted.

Moments after finishing her speech Saturday at the Centenary College commencement, Emily Hawley called fellow graduate Josh Walker to the stage.

Hawley, who narrowly edged out Walker to win the valedictorian designation, then popped the question, drawing loud roars from fellow graduates

Ms. Hawley earned her straight A’s while majoring in equine studies. This is Centenary College of New Jersey, by the way, not the one in Louisiana. The best thing about Louisiana’s Centenary is the nicknames they use for their athletic teams: The men’s teams are called Gentlemen and the women’s teams are called Ladies.

Charles Sahm of the Manhattan Institute takes on Diane Ravitch over her change of heart about charter schools:

Ravitch also testified that the federal NAEP tests showed “no significant difference” between charter and non-charter students. Again, other analysts have found otherwise — and, anyway, the fact that charters hold their own against statewide and national averages should be regarded as a success, not a failure: After all, charters largely serve poor, minority children in urban areas — a far more challenging mix of students.

Nor did she reference any of the research that found positive outcomes for charters, including economist Caroline Hoxby’s much noted 2009 analysis of New York’s charter schools. In that study, Hoxby estimated that students who attend a New York City charter school from kindergarten through eighth grade would close 86 percent of the “Scarsdale-Harlem achievement gap” in math and 66 percent of the gap in reading.

Sometimes I get the impression that evaluating educational outcomes with statistics is not an exact science.

Paging Nathan Harden!

Education between the sheets is an institution nearly as old as academia itself. But last month, Yale University announced an all-out, no-exceptions ban on all relationships between undergraduate students and faculty members. Should an incoming freshman in the class of 2014 find herself dating that hot assistant professor, she may as well help him pack up and start hunting for a new job.

Dating professors was not a problem when I was in college, probably because we were all guys and the smallish number of female professors we saw offered no obvious advantages over students from the women’s college across the street.

Fred Schwarz — Fred Schwarz is a deputy managing editor of National Review.

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