Korea: Grades Manipulated to Help Students Enroll Foreign Schools

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at ccat.sas.upenn.edu
Wed Dec 6 14:05:57 UTC 2006

  Grades Manipulated to Help Students Enroll Foreign Schools

By Kang Shin-who
Staff Reporter

Many foreign language high schools manipulate grades to help their
students advance to overseas universities. The weekly magazine, Hankyoreh
21, reported yesterday that Hanyoung Foreign Language High School in Seoul
has granted unjustifiable grades to their students who wish to study at
U.S. universities. The magazine also quoted the former headmaster of the
school as saying the same practices have been rampant in other schools as
well. The school has issued manipulated grade records to students who have
applied for U.S. universities, breaking the related education laws. For
example, the school gave ``A grades to students who had scored more than
70 points out of a possible 100 points.

However, according to the current regulations, set by the Ministry of
Education and Human Resources Development, test scores are categorized
into five grades; A (100-90), B (89-80), C (79-70), D (69-60), and F
(below 60). The ministry has already conducted inspections of foreign
language high schools. ``These unfair practices break the rules. The
government already granted favors to the foreign language schools by
allowing them to have more foreign language classes compared to other
schools, said Kim Kye-sun, a supervisor of the ministrys primary and
secondary school policy division. Meanwhile, when asked about the
irregularities of the school, school headmaster, Kim Jong-im told The
Korea Times that he had nothing to say about the scandals and he will
resign from the position soon. Kim replaced the former headmaster, Chang
Doo-su who resigned last October.

However, Kim expressed regret over the ministrys policy to control elite
students and call for education equality. ``There are many excellent
students in our school who will lead Korea in the future, but the ministry
is disturbing their development. I am tired of their policies, he said. A
teacher, who deals with students looking to study overseas, from Daewon
Foreign Language High School in Seoul, said, ``Our school obeys the policy
very well. Students who hope to go to U.S. universities need to stay up
very late to realize their dreams.


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