HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » Latest Breaking News (Forum) » Studies Find More Student...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Sat Sep 8, 2012, 03:37 AM

Studies Find More Students Cheating, With High Achievers No Exception

Source: NY Times

Large-scale cheating has been uncovered over the last year at some of the nationís most competitive schools, like Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan, the Air Force Academy and, most recently, Harvard.

Studies of student behavior and attitudes show that a majority of students violate standards of academic integrity to some degree, and that high achievers are just as likely to do it as others. Moreover, there is evidence that the problem has worsened over the last few decades.

Experts say the reasons are relatively simple: Cheating has become easier and more widely tolerated, and both schools and parents have failed to give students strong, repetitive messages about what is allowed and what is prohibited.

ďI donít think thereís any question that students have become more competitive, under more pressure, and, as a result, tend to excuse more from themselves and other students, and thatís abetted by the adults around them,Ē said Donald L. McCabe, a professor at the Rutgers University Business School, and a leading researcher on cheating.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/08/education/studies-show-more-students-cheat-even-high-achievers.html

11 replies, 3590 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread

Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sat Sep 8, 2012, 04:15 AM

1. the ONLY time i cheated ever, was religion class.

cause it did not matter. BOY you can fit all the books of the bible on the sides of a #2 pencil.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sat Sep 8, 2012, 07:37 AM

2. Naive? Or biased?

A different question is why do some try to teach people not to copy (and cheat), when it's copying that got past generations, more than a century ago, ahead?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sat Sep 8, 2012, 08:20 AM

3. It was that way when I was in high school, back in the Middle Ages -

I was about four or five in a class of 80 at a college prep high school. But - on proctored tests, the SAT and the regents' Scholarship exam, I blew everyone else out of the water.

At a high school reunion, one of the more notorious cheaters told me her son did great in school, not so good on the SATs, which showed that the SATs were a poor indicator of academic success. I didn't bother to tell her the SATs are an excellent indicator of who does their own work!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hedgehog (Reply #3)

Sat Sep 8, 2012, 09:55 AM

4. you were both right - or rather, neither of you were wrong

A high SAT score can indicate you know the material and did your own work. But a lower one does not necessarily prove the opposite. Test-taking is, itself, a skill, and not everyone has it. Not to mention other issues with standardized tests as an over-all measure of intelligence and ability.

And lest I be presumed to be speaking as a low-scorer self-justifying, my own total score was somewhere above the 95th percentile, boosted by a near-perfect verbal score. While my math was lower, it was still high enough. And that despite the fact that I only ever learned enough math in class to barely pass - to this day I have to refer to a guide to divide fractions, for instance. But I was a really, really good test-taker. That was more than forty years ago - no doubt the tests are harder now, and even if not, I doubt I could even "pass" the math today. Test taking, like other skills, grows rusty with disuse.

I think it is fine to be pleased and proud if one scores well. But it is not fine to assume that those that don't are thus proven "lesser" in any way.

As to cheating and its prevalence, I think one has to look to the culture. For all we crow about individualism, everything we know shows that for most humans, their actions are largely determined by those of their cohort and culture.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to bread_and_roses (Reply #4)

Sat Sep 8, 2012, 10:14 AM

5. +1000 about individualism! It's as though a lot of people can't conceive of an individuality that is

anything more than a REACTION, of one type or another, to others. There is so much lip service to "uniqueness", and though we might guess that some people are relatively different from others, this notion of absolute uniqueness cannot be valid and, yet, I know some young people who place a very high price on their "individuality". It's as though something shared, really shared, is bad and, at the same time, I feel certain that they ALSO hunger for that.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hedgehog (Reply #3)

Sat Sep 8, 2012, 02:35 PM

8. That may explain why my gifted daughter doesn't get very high grades but scored

in the 99th percentile for her age group (13) on the SAT. She does seem to excell on proctored tests, but get B's or even C's on routine tests and assignments.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sat Sep 8, 2012, 10:53 AM

6. "Moreover, there is evidence that the problem has worsened over the last few decades."

I wonder if the rise of wingnut-ism in this country during that same period has anything to do with that.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sat Sep 8, 2012, 11:37 AM

7. Given the way this culture worships test scores, who's surprised?

One would expect, a priori, that high achievers would be most likely to cheat and organize cheating rings, because high achievers are people who want to win at any cost. Does anyone seriously believe testing is a means of evaluation? It is a means of categorization, and test results affect a student's life in very concrete and important ways. Do we think our children are so stupid that they cannot see that perceived merit is what matters in a soi-disant meritocracy, not actual merit? Hell, Mitt Romney is running for President, fer chrissake.

-- Mal

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to malthaussen (Reply #7)

Sat Sep 8, 2012, 02:35 PM

9. They're taught that the "meritocracy" is only "soi-disant."

Which lets them off the hook for having any merit.

But if you work with the kids who are high achievers, they can knock you out of the water not just with what they know but how they can put things together and figure out inconsistencies.

Those who have let themselves off the hook look at the high achievers and just say, "I could do that too ... If I wanted to." Then they go back to talking about what Sue told Pete his girlfriend was telling Joe about Betty's date with Andy.

Then, if you ask them about "merit" again, they fall back to "everybody's unique and has equal dignity." Just don't ask them to build a bridge, diagnose a rare disease, or figure out a way of synthesizing a new chemical compound. Ever. Because it doesn't involve their friends or even their distance future (which is defined as "the following Sunday evening").

Bad tests can be a means of categorization, and there is this view that all grades just rank students. The implicit assumption is that the ranking is bad. But if you want to pick the 10 best musicians out of a crowd of 500, you'll want them ranked. You'll also want to not interview just the top ranked 10, but the top ranked 20 or 30 because people have bad days and rankings aren't perfect. It's just good enough.

It also misses the entire point of "mastery learning" that's been more common for the last 20-30 years. You set a goal and say, "This is what you need for an A." Then if 90% of the kids get 95% of the content, they get an A. As long as the amount of content and the skills needed are within the ability of most of the students, the ranking is fairly flat and the curve sharply skewed right. Those are what most standardized tests are at the state level. This is unlike the SATs, which are expected to be harder than 95% of the test takers can do perfect on.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sat Sep 8, 2012, 03:46 PM

10. I never cheated on school tests..

and I have the grades to prove it!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sat Sep 8, 2012, 04:04 PM

11. The idealization of Education as God is waning, thanks to reality....

High test scores and a degree from an elite school are just hoops to jump through. So why exhaust oneself to jump through hoops that are meaningless faced with the realities of the collapsing capitalist system. A degree doesn't guarantee a seat at the shrinking middle class table. It used to, but not anymore. Much of the hype is to funnel tuition dollars to institutions and stick students with debts that end up not justified by the benefits.

The real world is the best teacher. If HS students, tempted by dropping out, see their educated parents, older siblings and friends stuck in under/unemployment, the value of learning is crushed.

I know the stats on employment-to-degree. If you are more educated, you are more likely working. But that relationship is diminishing year by year. Today's youngsters are stuck with less for more tuition.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread