Patterico's Pontifications

5/27/2010

High Tech Cheating

Filed under: Education — DRJ @ 4:03 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

One hundred Denver Denver-area high school students had to retake a chemistry final exam because a few students cheated. Amazingly, the school’s principal seems to be making excuses for their cheating:

“A lot of kids are under pressure to do well grade-wise,” [principal Mike] Murphy said. “They are looking at college. Success is certainly something that drives people. These are good kids. They just made a bad choice.”

I hope Principal Mike will rethink his opinion since, not surprisingly, studies show that students who cheat grow up to be adults who cheat:

“The Josephson Institute of Ethics in October released a study that suggests cheating in high school is a significant predictor of lying and cheating across a wide range of adult situations.

Specifically, the survey of nearly 7,000 people in various age groups found that people who cheated two or more times in high school were three times as likely to lie to a customer, twice as likely to deceive their boss and 1 1/2 times as likely to lie to a spouse or cheat on their taxes.”

– DRJ

14 Responses to “High Tech Cheating”

  1. “If you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t tryin’!” Ugh, part of the culture has turned cheating into a perverse act of courage and nobility.

    This happened many moons ago at my Jr. High school. The teacher told everybody who the cheater was, and gave him an “F”, and had made it clear that we were retaking the test because he was trying to do better than us. I told this to a colleague recently, and he replied, “wow, that was harsh!” Interesting how people respond to this, especially that principal Mike Murphy.

    TimesDisliker (3959f0)

  2. When I was in dental school in the late ’50s,
    we had a final exam in histology, where we
    looked into a microscope and had to identify
    what was labeled. One of my classmates thought
    he would ace the test by moving the pointer
    after he wrote down his answer. Everyone who
    came behind him while taking the test flunked.
    It was only an observant teachers assistant
    who thought something was fishy and looked
    at the tests.

    The perp was caught but stayed in school.
    Pity for the cheaters started a long time
    ago.

    El Zopilote (de289b)

  3. There’s pressure on these kids to get good grades.

    There’s pressure on the Mexicans to look for work where they can find it.

    Excuses – excuses. This principal sounds qualified to run ICE.

    MU789 (454be6)

  4. When I was in dental school in the late ’50s,
    we had a final exam in histology, where we
    looked into a microscope and had to identify
    what was labeled. One of my classmates thought
    he would ace the test by moving the pointer
    after he wrote down his answer. Everyone who
    came behind him while taking the test flunked.
    It was only an observant teachers assistant
    who thought something was fishy and looked
    at the tests.

    The perp was caught but stayed in school.
    Pity for the cheaters started a long time
    ago.

    Steve (ee909d)

  5. Minor point: Golden is not Denver. It’s west of Denver, and not a suburb. It’s not quite as egregious as saying that Vallejo High School is in San Francisco, but …

    wheels (229917)

  6. Moral relativism in action.Fairness demands everybody gets the high tech cheat sheet.

    clyde (6f377e)

  7. That’s not America to make people re-take tests.

    happyfeet (c8caab)

  8. Freshman Honors Chemistry, Michigan State. Final was discovered to be leaked (photo copy found.) Prof asked for those who had taken it, or seen it, to step forward, there would be a one quarter suspension, and that would be all. No one did.

    He handed out the new, rewritten final. If I remember correctly, I got a 34 out of 100 (considerably better than average, in the top ten of the several hundred students who were declared not to have cheated.) In those days, that was an F (69 and below, Fail.) All of the class flunked the new final (I was told during the investigation of my “high” score that most of the TAs also flunked it.)

    Seventeen students had scores that were “suspicious”. All were suspended, five were eventually expelled. (The thieves were expelled, their fraternity brothers who’d studied the stolen test but did not know that the test was stolen were out for a year; the thieves had placed the stolen test in the frat’s test library marked as an old test, hoping to somehow cover their theft. It’s always the coverup — none of the thieves checked out the stolen test!)

    Those who cheat … will cheat. Some of them learn, but mostly they seem to learn to cheat better.

    htom (412a17)

  9. Thanks, wheels. I changed it from “Denver” to “Denver area.”

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  10. The next generation of climate scientists learning their research techniques.

    Machinist (497786)

  11. I had an Accounting 2 class a couple of years ago where the same problem was given to the Accounting 1 students. They were going to be graded on 6 parts where we were hit with 20 some graded parts. Everyone freaked out over this problem, none of us had a clue what to do with it and we didn’t even get some of the relevant information until two days before it was due. For the most part, the accounting 2 class took it in stride, mostly people decided to accept a crappy score and make it up on other problems. The Accounting 1 people freaked so bad that they found the answer card online. Their class average was 96% accuracy on the entire problem, not just their portion.

    The professor threw out that grade, rewrote their next two exams to make them impossible to pass and then made them redo the cash flow problem on the day of the Final without extra time. And he told the entire class that he wouldn’t give a letter of recommendation or even a kind word about any of them.

    In my class, he was pissed because he knew some of us had heard/seen it and didn’t rat them out, so our next exam was a beast. Personally I scored 6/20 on that problem, he knew I didn’t cheat, but I’m not sure he’d give me a letter of recommendation anyway.

    Allen (6fd76b)

  12. if i’m in a gun fight or a war zone, i’m cheating my ass off…..

    in my civilian, professional life, no way. i do health care and lives are at stake. besides, as my DS pointed out years ago, “If you don’t have time to do the j*b right the first time, when the hell are you ever going to find time to do it over?”

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  13. Why are the students who hadn’t cheated forced to re-take the test? I’d refuse.

    tehag (37e55e)

  14. The first rule of combat is that there are no rules, only victory and defeat. Test taking is not combat, and I suspect part of the problem is that these kids have not been exposed to enough pain in their protected lives to know the difference.

    htom (412a17)


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