Performance Perspectives Blog

Inflating performance

by | Jan 31, 2012

Excuse me for once again commenting on the subject of trust, but I just learned that Claremont Mckenna College, a prestigious California institution, has admitted to inflating SAT scores to improve it’s ranking. There seems to be almost an epidemic in such shenanigans. It hasn’t been that long since we learned of teachers in many public schools in the United States changing the answers on student exams, to improve rankings. Cheating has somehow become acceptable, at least in some sectors.

Such actions don’t occur without a degree of conspiring on the parts of two or more individuals. How does this happen? Apparently, it isn’t so difficult, at least from the rash of cases that have surfaced. Yes, we have our Bernie Madoff and others like him who was successful at getting individuals to work with them in order to do some pretty dishonest things. And yes, over the years we’ve seen some asset managers inflate their scores to improve their rankings. I find all of this quite disturbing.

And while we can feel good that these are “isolated incidents,” when those we hold in the highest regard fail us, that surely impacts our comfort at trusting others, does it not? As a society, we should be concerned that such behavior seems to have almost no limits.

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