Given attitudes of kids, parents, have schools lost will to combat cheating?

Fans of Georgia’s ESSA plan say it increases flexibility and incentives for school districts. Critics including the governor say it lacks sufficient oversight.

Has cheating become as much of a fixture in high school as promposals and pep rallies?

Students seem to view academic dishonesty as part of the school landscape. Even teens who don’t cheat say it’s prevalent and near impossible to prevent.

A survey of 24,000 students at 70 high schools found 64 percent admitted to cheating on a test, and 58 percent owned up to plagiarism. Overall, 95 percent said they had cheated, whether on a test or by plagiarizing material or copying homework.

The assumption weaker students are more likely to cheat was challenged in surveys done by the California Department of Education and Who’s Who Among American High Schools. The findings indicated top students may cheat more than others, possibly because of the arms race to get into elite colleges.

High school students contend schools aren’t waging war on cheating. As an example, they say teachers must know students taking a test in first period often tip off friends taking it later, sometimes by snapping a photo of the exam and texting it. Yet, teachers will continue to give the same test to all their classes, according to teens.

Atlanta’s Grady High School tackles this issue in its award-winning student newspaper, the Southerner. Here is an excerpt from the front-page story by Grady journalists Rachel Hasson and Gaby Paez:

In an anonymous survey of 100 random students, 88 admitted to having witnessed cheating at Grady, and 70 admit cheating themselves. On top of cheating in standard classes, cheating in Advanced Placement classes at Grady is nothing new.

“Students who take AP classes don’t seem to be any more or less likely to cheat than other students, although their motivation and methods for cheating might be different,” AP Calculus teacher Andrew Nichols said. “Students with overloaded academic and extracurricular schedules may choose to cheat to maintain their grades.”

In a previous study conducted by the Southerner staff in 2013, a study of 693 test scores on 13 assessments revealed test score averages from students who took an assessment on the second day a test was administered were 4.48 points higher than the averages of classes taking the assessment on the first day.

Most teachers prevent cheating on tests by giving out multiple forms, each with a different question order and answer choices…“Teachers and administrators can’t do this alone,” Nichols said. “Student leaders must speak up about taking pride in their work and the value of struggling with difficult problems. Teachers can help students understand the difference in collaboration and copying, and parents can talk to their children about responsibility and accountability.”

As the competition for select colleges continues and the pressures on students mount, many middle-class families are cheating under the guise of “helping.” Parents end up doing their overloaded teenager’s projects, essays or term papers. I know friends still editing their children’s graduate school papers.

A New York Times story featured an interview an educator who discovered a student’s mother had written her paper, plagiarizing a lot of the material. When the educator asked the student what she had learned from the experience, the young woman replied, “Check the work my mom does?”

 

Reader Comments 0

22 comments
C_W_Gibson
C_W_Gibson

In today's culture, it would be an outrage for a teacher to enter a zero or a failing grade in their record when a student is caught cheating. The parents would sue and administrators would want to meet with the teacher to try to work this out: read "give the student another chance". 

When young people look outside themselves at the general culture and the ethical standards to which adults hold themselves, they see wide spread cheating at virtually all levels. Look at the Georgia religion of college sports and you need seek no further.

Students are reflecting us.


Pogo had it right: "we have seen the enemy and he is us:\".

Tom Green
Tom Green

I always loved it when parents of a students caught cheating would ask for them to get another chance and fully expected my to make up another test.

Starik
Starik

Teachers and administrators in APS set a wonderful example.

Glynis Cottam Riescher
Glynis Cottam Riescher

My son's Algebra teacher rarely grades homework and has at least 3 versions of a test, so I think in this case they are trying to combat cheating

MaureenDowney
MaureenDowney moderator

Here are two more teacher comments I wanted to share:


1.The problem is that is so easy to cheat with smart phones. My kids see NO problem with snapping a pic of their work and sending it to their friends or googling answer keys for class work. Since it's "just" an in class/unimportant assignment, who cares if I cheat is their mentality. And most don't really care if you do catch them and give them a zero for that assignment. From a teacher standpoint, it's more of a headache and battle to prevent them from using their phones to cheat, ESPECIALLY when we're supposed to be using technology in the classroom.

2.My students snap pictures and share the answers to everything. It's impossible to stop without addressing the access to their phones in class.

class80olddog
class80olddog

@MaureenDowney So don't allow cellphones in the classroom.  Any cell phones found in the classroom during testing will result in the student failing the course!  You created this problem when you allowed "technology in the classroom".  I remember not being allowed to use calculators when they became commonplace.

Tricia Vasquez
Tricia Vasquez

My students snap pictures and share the answers to everything. It's impossible to stop without addressing the access to their phones in class.

MaureenDowney
MaureenDowney moderator


A teacher comment posted to AJC Get Schooled Facebook on cheating on papers by having someone else write them: 


A cause of great concern to the extent that it is near pointless to assign an essay. In class writing samples often do not match submissions completed at home. Literary topics are revised and circulated. Parents and college-age siblings write student papers. And teachers do not have the time to launch full scale investigations to find sources or prove plagiarism. No one copies and pastes anymore. A previously submitted paper is easily revised by changing key words. This is the case even when I promise to personally help write the paper until a student earns the desired grade as long as the work is original.


PJ25
PJ25

All the more proof these snowflakes are a by-product of their worthless parents and a sorry public education system.  No wonder they need safe spaces in colleges and can't hold down full time employment with their useless liberal arts degrees once they graduate.

Ralph-43
Ralph-43

Digital electronics have changed the education environment and cheating has to be redefined.  Physicians are asking to bring their devices into their board certification tests so they can 'look up the answers' the same way they do in daily practice.  Apparently, it will be difficult, in the future, not to have 'Open Book' tests.  This area needs to be considered and redefined by experts so that we continue to instill critical thinking and basic data in young minds without creating cell-phone-addicted automatons easily lead by computer based hacker-dictators. 

myarbrough61
myarbrough61

The character of most people has fallen as we as a nation have turned our backs on God...we have murdered about 60 million since 1973, devaluing life, are we surprised that students cheat and their parents help them?

Starik
Starik

@myarbrough61 "God" has nothing to do with it. What do you want? Go back to mandatory "prayer?"

class80olddog
class80olddog

Teachers and principals encourage cheating so that students appear to have learned more than they really have.  Teachers don't erase and answer any more - they learned new ways to cheat.  And the legislature helped them by eliminating the GHSGT.  Everyone cheats!  I am ready for businesses to start their own employment testing.  You don't study and learn - you don't get job.  Suddenly, all APS students are unemployable!  Cheating starts with social promotion - then grade inflation.  And people are wondering why the clamor to get their kids out of public schools.

Falcaints
Falcaints

@class80olddog I am insulted by the inference that "teachers" encourage cheating.  You can't lump us all together and I for one have never "encouraged" cheating in my 22 years in the classroom.

class80olddog
class80olddog

@Falcaints @class80olddog I am told that when you go visit the inmates at the local prison, every single one will tell you they are innocent.  Every single teacher may not have cheated, but I would guess a good majority in failing schools have.  And if you have ever "socially promoted" a student who failed your class, in my eyes you have cheated.

Astropig
Astropig

@class80olddog @Falcaints 

" I am told that when you go visit the inmates at the local prison, every single one will tell you they are innocent."

You've been told correctly.Also, Jesus must write a lot of bad checks or steal stuff from people because a whopping majority of my old clients that wanted out without paying told me that they had found him there in jail ;)

Beth Ball
Beth Ball

The problem is that is so easy to cheat with smart phones. My kids see NO problem with snapping a pic of their work and sending it to their friends or googling answer keys for class work. Since it's "just" an in class/unimportant assignment, who cares if I cheat is their mentality. And most don't really care if you do catch them and give them a zero for that assignment. From a teacher standpoint, it's more of a headache and battle to prevent them from using their phones to cheat, ESPECIALLY when we're supposed to be using technology in the classroom.

Chuck Furr
Chuck Furr

Unfortunately this is all to common. Some students buy their papers online

Chuck Furr
Chuck Furr

My friend all you can do is your best, some people spend more learning how to cheat than to just do the work. As long as you feel you have done your best at the end of the day

Timothy Mantooth
Timothy Mantooth

A cause of great concern-to the extent that it is near pointless to assign an essay. In class writing samples often do not match submissions completed at home. Literary topics are revised and circulated. Parents and college-age siblings write student papers. And teachers do not have the time to launch full scale investigations to find sources or prove plagiarism. No one copies and pastes anymore. A previously submitted paper is easily revised by changing key words. This is the case even when I promise to personally help write the paper until a student earns the desired grade as long as the work is original.

1776 Nation
1776 Nation

Tests given via the Internet or a phone app easily vary the order of questions and answers. And instantly deliver a score.

But don't satisfy those agitating against testing or accountability.