Monday, July 27, 2009

No File, No Future

This story will make your blood boil: In several cases, corrupt Chinese officials have stolen the manila folders of exemplary young, often poor students, which contain their permanent records of test scores and other official documents, and sold them for thousands of dollars. Without the documents, the students, who have slaved and sacrificed everything to achieve a greater place in society, are doomed to low-wage work. Questions raised by the story:

1) What are the consequences of basing people's life chances on a series of tests?
2)Is this an extreme version of the flawed American meritocracy, or does the rigidity of the no-second-chances system make it something else altogether?
3) Why the hell don't they have electronic records, or at least copies of these documents?

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