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Old 08-26-2009, 10:03 AM
 
2,175 posts, read 2,161,433 times
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Default Cheating in schools and colleges

Quote:
According to the 1998 poll of Who's Who Among American High School Students, 80% of the country's best students cheated to get to the top of their class. More than half the students surveyed said they don't think cheating is a big deal – and most did not get caught.
Of course, it doesn't stop there:
Quote:
Profile of college students more likely to cheat: Business or Engineering majors; Those whose future plans include business; Men self-report cheating more than woman; Fraternity and Sorority members; Younger students; Students with lower GPA's or those at the very top.
According to the Josephson Institute of Ethics:
Cheating in school continues to be rampant and it’s getting worse. A substantial majority (64 percent) cheated on a test during the past year (38 percent did so two or more times), up from 60 percent and 35 percent, respectively, in 2006. There were no gender differences on the issue of cheating on exams.
  • Students attending non-religious independent schools reported the lowest cheating rate (47 percent) while 63 percent of students from religious schools cheated.
  • Responses about cheating show some geographic disparity: Seventy percent of the students residing in the southeastern U.S. admitted to cheating, compared to 64 percent in the west, 63 percent in the northeast, and 59 percent in the midwest.
  • More than one in three (36 percent) said they used the Internet to plagiarize an assignment. In 2006 the figure was 33 percent.

Despite these high levels of dishonesty, the respondents have a high self-image when it comes to ethics. A whopping 93 percent said they were satisfied with their personal ethics and character and 77 percent said that when it comes to doing what is right, I am better than most people I know.
http://charactercounts.org/programs/...ard/index.html
**************

Is this something the schools should just give up on and accept? Is it something the schools can do something about?

Is it something the schools have any moral standing in, when you consider the cheating and lying done by adults in society, including in positions of authority in schools and colleges?

The former Director of Admissions at M.I.T. was caught having lied on her resume. Big time basketball programs are penalized regularly for violating rules. Senators and Congressmen and Governors cheat, and as one defended himself, "it wasn't illegal!"

School administrators and teachers aplenty have been caught cheating on their schools high-stakes tests to raise their school's profiles and avoid further oversight.

The number of cheaters has skyrocketed in the last 50 years.

Is this just a standard part of "the group dynamic of experience" that prepares our students for "the real world," and we should accept it and be glad our students are learning how things really work?

Or, if we should not just accept it, then what should we do about it?

Last edited by jps-teacher; 08-26-2009 at 10:06 AM.. Reason: added Josephson link
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Old 08-26-2009, 01:56 PM
 
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I don't think it should be accepted, but as long as administrators fudge discipline reports, and standardized test results, they are hardly in a position to criticize the students. It needs to be unacceptable in the eyes of the parents.

We actually had a dinner table discussion about cheating last night. My son had a test in his AP Lit class. The teacher handed out the multiple choice test, and immediately some of the students brought her attention to the fact that some of the questions had asterisks next to some of the answers. According to my son, it was obvious that she was reusing an old test. His copy had all 50 of the correct answers marked. The teacher told him to ignore the asterisks. Huh? He quickly realized that the asterisks corresponded to the correct answer. In his eyes, he didn't cheat, because he made the teacher aware that his copy was one of those with the previous marks on it. I told him he cheated anyway.
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Old 08-26-2009, 02:06 PM
 
2,839 posts, read 6,458,548 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattie View Post
I don't think it should be accepted, but as long as administrators fudge discipline reports, and standardized test results, they are hardly in a position to criticize the students. It needs to be unacceptable in the eyes of the parents.

We actually had a dinner table discussion about cheating last night. My son had a test in his AP Lit class. The teacher handed out the multiple choice test, and immediately some of the students brought her attention to the fact that some of the questions had asterisks next to some of the answers. According to my son, it was obvious that she was reusing an old test. His copy had all 50 of the correct answers marked. The teacher told him to ignore the asterisks. Huh? He quickly realized that the asterisks corresponded to the correct answer. In his eyes, he didn't cheat, because he made the teacher aware that his copy was one of those with the previous marks on it. I told him he cheated anyway.
What do you think he should have done about it, to avoid cheating?
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Old 08-26-2009, 02:45 PM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
3,779 posts, read 5,498,176 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattie View Post
I don't think it should be accepted, but as long as administrators fudge discipline reports, and standardized test results, they are hardly in a position to criticize the students. It needs to be unacceptable in the eyes of the parents.

We actually had a dinner table discussion about cheating last night. My son had a test in his AP Lit class. The teacher handed out the multiple choice test, and immediately some of the students brought her attention to the fact that some of the questions had asterisks next to some of the answers. According to my son, it was obvious that she was reusing an old test. His copy had all 50 of the correct answers marked. The teacher told him to ignore the asterisks. Huh? He quickly realized that the asterisks corresponded to the correct answer. In his eyes, he didn't cheat, because he made the teacher aware that his copy was one of those with the previous marks on it. I told him he cheated anyway.
What you describe here raises a bigger issue than just cheating - the way we assess kids and the value we place on various assessment methods. Even if he got everything correct on his own, would a multiple choice test really assess his understanding of literature? Not well enough for my taste. But the teacher went with the easy-to-administer and quantify (and cheat on) assessment rather than something that would yield more qualitative data, like an essay or oral defense of a key concept, etc.
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Old 08-26-2009, 02:50 PM
Status: "Desperately searching for the grading fairy...." (set 3 days ago)
 
Location: Whoville....
21,913 posts, read 16,200,006 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maf763 View Post
What you describe here raises a bigger issue than just cheating - the way we assess kids and the value we place on various assessment methods. Even if he got everything correct on his own, would a multiple choice test really assess his understanding of literature? Not well enough for my taste. But the teacher went with the easy-to-administer and quantify (and cheat on) assessment rather than something that would yield more qualitative data, like an essay or oral defense of a key concept, etc.
Easy? Have you written a multiple choice test? Coming up with three wrong answers that sound plausible is easier said than done. I'd much rather do short answer and show your work type questions but the state uses multiple choice on the tests we're graded on so we use multiple choice on our regular assessments so the kids are familiar with the test format.
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Old 08-26-2009, 03:24 PM
 
10,039 posts, read 14,346,493 times
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Not to go off-topic, but Who's Who in American High School Students is a huge scam. I wouldn't look towards them to provide a snapshot of America's "best" students.

I don't think cheating should ever be accepted. I don't, however, think it's part of the "group dynamic of experience" or the "real world." Of COURSE schools have moral standing when it comes to telling students not to cheat. Why in the world wouldn't they be able to do so? Many, many people out there don't cheat or indulge in unethical behavior, and yes, that includes many school teachers and administrators. I'm not convinced that it's yet the norm. And even if it is, then it's still okay to take a hard stance now so that the adults of the future don't have the same problems as those today.

This reminds me of parents who say "how can I tell my teen not to use drugs (or whatever) when I did when I was that age?" Adults need to stand up and be responsible. Cheating is unethical, and just because some adults engage in unethical behavior doesn't mean we should just all say "well, that's just how things are."

I wonder if the number of cheaters has really increased over the years, or just the number of people who admit to cheating has increased. In either case it's disturbing, but assuming that there really is a widespread cheating epidemic then it's even more important to talk to kids (as parents, community members, and teachers) and send the message that cheating is not okay. We need to send the same message to adults in society, and not give passes to those in society who flout the rules.

Part of the problem may be the high stakes nature of today's education; some kids think if they fail a test then their lives will be over, they won't get into the "right" college, they'll have failed themselves and their parents. If that's the case, then maybe kids need to be reminded that tests are to encourage learning, that it's better to be honest and risk failure than to cheat, and that learning itself is more than just a number or a grade.

I know people frequently talk about how self-esteem movements have run amok (and I tend to agree), but when I hear about test cheating, in particular, I've got to wonder why so many of these kids have so little belief in their own abilities. I never once cheated on an exam; I did well in school and was usually a pretty good test taker (although I've bombed a few tests in my time) but never once considered cheating on any test. It would go against my personal morals to begin with, but on more practical terms, why would I? To do so would not only be unethical, it would also be a sign that I didn't trust my own abilities. I certainly trusted myself than I would some anonymous internet source or the kid sitting next to me.
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Old 08-26-2009, 03:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beanandpumpkin View Post
What do you think he should have done about it, to avoid cheating?
I told him he should have brought the test up to the teacher to show her how all the answers were there. He felt that since it was brought to her attention that some of the tests were marked, and she didn't bother to get up and look at any of them, he was absolved of any guilt.
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Old 08-26-2009, 03:47 PM
 
7,404 posts, read 8,764,931 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uptown_urbanist View Post
Not to go off-topic, but Who's Who in American High School Students is a huge scam. I wouldn't look towards them to provide a snapshot of America's "best" students.

I don't think cheating should ever be accepted. I don't, however, think it's part of the "group dynamic of experience" or the "real world." Of COURSE schools have moral standing when it comes to telling students not to cheat. Why in the world wouldn't they be able to do so? Many, many people out there don't cheat or indulge in unethical behavior, and yes, that includes many school teachers and administrators. I'm not convinced that it's yet the norm. And even if it is, then it's still okay to take a hard stance now so that the adults of the future don't have the same problems as those today.

This reminds me of parents who say "how can I tell my teen not to use drugs (or whatever) when I did when I was that age?" Adults need to stand up and be responsible. Cheating is unethical, and just because some adults engage in unethical behavior doesn't mean we should just all say "well, that's just how things are."

I wonder if the number of cheaters has really increased over the years, or just the number of people who admit to cheating has increased. In either case it's disturbing, but assuming that there really is a widespread cheating epidemic then it's even more important to talk to kids (as parents, community members, and teachers) and send the message that cheating is not okay. We need to send the same message to adults in society, and not give passes to those in society who flout the rules.

Part of the problem may be the high stakes nature of today's education; some kids think if they fail a test then their lives will be over, they won't get into the "right" college, they'll have failed themselves and their parents. If that's the case, then maybe kids need to be reminded that tests are to encourage learning, that it's better to be honest and risk failure than to cheat, and that learning itself is more than just a number or a grade.

I know people frequently talk about how self-esteem movements have run amok (and I tend to agree), but when I hear about test cheating, in particular, I've got to wonder why so many of these kids have so little belief in their own abilities. I never once cheated on an exam; I did well in school and was usually a pretty good test taker (although I've bombed a few tests in my time) but never once considered cheating on any test. It would go against my personal morals to begin with, but on more practical terms, why would I? To do so would not only be unethical, it would also be a sign that I didn't trust my own abilities. I certainly trusted myself than I would some anonymous internet source or the kid sitting next to me.
Well said, and I don't think it is off topic. Another point is that it has become easier to cheat than when I was in school. Back then, the only option was long sleeves or tiny scraps of paper. Now there are cell phones and texting.

I never cheated either. I didn't have the weight of class ranking on my shoulders as it wasn't something my parents stressed. All they asked is that I try my best. I've attempted to pass that attitude on to my kids, but to be honest, they are more competitive than I ever was. Class rank is important among the students in our high school, and my kids have gotten somewhat caught up in that.
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Old 08-26-2009, 04:05 PM
 
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But I tthnik it all comes out in teh wash eventaully.I have seen manythat made good grades in college be loss when it comes to the private sector.Competition will always bring out cheats but the per centage that pay for it is always high.
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Old 08-26-2009, 04:53 PM
 
10,039 posts, read 14,346,493 times
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Good point about technology. There is ample opportunity for kids to cheat if they want to do so; we can probably only do so much to prevent that, but we can at least do our best to make sure that our children have the backbone and sense of ethics to resist the temptation.

My son is still pretty young, but I've read about (and seen for myself) the many examples of high-stress pressure on kids these days; it's hard to combat that as an individual parent.

I'm sure there are kids out there who cheat despite knowing it's wrong because they think think they have no alternative. I hope my kids never feel like they have to cheat to keep up, or to compete, or to make me happy. No child should face that sort of pressure, and maybe that's where things have started to go wrong.
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