Thursday, February 10, 2011

Elites Grading Their Kids

Years ago at my school there was a bit of a scandal because sons and daughters were registering for their father's classes. This was, to me at least, bad enough but increasingly it appeared these were average students who did much better when dad was the prof. It went on for years with complaints to the dean who used the old "it's a matter for the faculty" wimpy way to avoid the issue.

Finally, through some miracle I do not understand, the issue was put before the faculty and a rule passed that you could not have family members in your class. Of course, at that moment there were several children in the classes of a parent. So what to do? One of the elites argued it was an ex post facto rule and could not be applied to to current students. I imagine this reasoning appealed to many although I thought it was crazy. Sure we had made a new rule but wasn't there always a common sense ethical rule already in place. Didn't the fact the we had voted unanimously in favor of the new rule mean that any reasonable person would realize that having your kid in your class raised issues. Elites are not big on common sense when it does not cut in their favor.

But then the next comment made my jaw drop. A parent with a child currently in his class spoke up. He said that his child registered for the class because he was confident he would get an A from his father. If the rule were to take effect immediately, it would be unfair to his son. Back then we did not have WTF or OMG because there was no texting. But my reaction was definitely WTF or OMG. It made me think. Did slavery only become unacceptable when there was an official rule. Was raping your wife really OK until spousal rape was officially recognized. The elites live in a very special world of entitlements and it had played out as I should have expected. Those caught with their hands in the cookie jar walked.

1 comment:

eric said...

The argument is obviously and crassly unprincipled. But why were you the least bit surprised? Crass and unprincipled are the stock in trade of entitled elites. Think about it: Is there really any difference between your example and the standard argument about "investment-backed expectations" that judges routinely accept to allow the rich and powerful to get away with further enriching and empowering themselves at the expense of the poor and powerless?