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GRE Cheating and Immigration
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March 14, 2007, 07:58 PM
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In the March 10 Tapei Times Max Hirsch writes:

Rampant cheating by tech-savvy students in East Asia, including those from Taiwan, has forced the Educational Testing Service (ETS), the US-based testing organization with an annual budget of nearly US$1 billion, to promulgate a new, "cheat-resistant" version of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) worldwide, testing officials said yesterday.

The GRE is a standardized test that most US graduate schools require prospective students to take.

Now the big potential reward for foreigners taking the American-based GRE is getting into a US university—with taxpayer support—and through that valuable immigration rights. Those immigration rights are so very valuable, we have seen some elaborate cheating rings. I`ve heard of once such ring that involved transmission of questions to students taking the test later. It makes sense that less skillful cheaters like Teddy Kennedy would admire these folks.

Students coming to the US are supposed to regard themselves as "non-immigrants"-but there are all kinds of ways to get around that (anchor babies, marrying a US citizen) once someone is physically in the US—especially for the more enterprising-and less honest-folks.

What is especially sad, is this pattern isn`t isolated in the case of China. China is a major source of fake credit cards used in the US—and the source of highly addictive narcotics like oxycontin sold in the US black market. What is especially disturbing is these moves have high level government support-and support among influential elements in the Chinese Military.

I can understand why many Chinese are distrustful towards-and competitive of the west and its allies after the legacy of the opium trade. Still continual vengeance and rivalry catches a lot of folks in the cross fire.

We need to think about how to a world that works for everyone-not liquidating important public assets to those most driven to get them. Fraud can destroy lives as easily as violence—and the last thing that the US needs is more highly intelligent—and industrious—fraud artists.