Skip to comments.Education: Why Has Cheating Become An Epidemic?
Posted on 10/14/2011 6:39:45 AM PDT by IbJensen
Pundits routinely assert there is a cheating epidemic in American education.
A few statistics can confirm the extent of the problem. Researchers at the University of Nebraska surveyed students and found that 89 percent said glancing at someone else's answers during a test was cheating, but 87 percent said they'd done that at least once. Also, 94 percent said providing answers to someone during a test was cheating -- but 74 percent admitted to doing it. » If you like this article, please subscribe to our daily newsletter
Our_Cheating_HeartPaying someone else to write your course work is also common, and now a big business. More than 100 websites provide essays that students hand in as their own work. eCheat.com, a particularly shameless site, flaunts this motto: Its Not Cheating, Its Collaborating....Welcome to eCheat.com, a leading free essay and student resource site. eCheat has an extensive archive of free essays, all submitted and graded by high school and college students. eCheat also has an archive of 60,000 professionally written papers available for purchase.
One solo scribe bragged in an ad: I have been making a living doing this work for the last three years....I have graduated with four clients, start to finish, am working with three Masters level clients, and partner with a wide range of clients on an assignment to assignment basis.
Another hustler said, in a mighty burst of sophistry: It's not plagiarism if I write it for you.
It certainly is. Just as every grade, and every degree, that results from cheating is a lie, and surely constitutes fraud on future employers. (Consult your lawyer. Wouldnt the cheater and the ghostwriter be engaged in racketeering?)
Heres the real shocker. According to Educational Testing Services, only 35% of college officials believe cheating is a problem, this despite research showing that 73% of all test takers, including prospective graduate students and teachers, agree that most students do cheat at some point. 86% of high school students agreed. But college officials dont see a problem. Thats a problem.
Notice the swirling together of academic decline with loss of integrity. Its long been my contention that our Education Establishment aims low, and hits their target. Nobody learns much but everyone gets a good grade and is promoted. The Education Establishment seems irresistibly drawn to leveling. At some point, however, students run into the real world: exams, resumes, entrance requirements, job interviews. If some students need to cheat, lets be understanding--that seems to be the evolving policy. Surely, administrators could easily stop the cheating, or much of it, if they really wanted to. In not cracking down on the cheaters, the officials allow an unforgivable pressure on the honest to begin cheating. And once somebody lies or cheats one time, the next time is easier. You think the officials dont know that? Do they intend to corrupt the society?
The Chronicle of Higher Education interviewed an anonymous ghost writer. All the sleazy themes come together in his comments:
In the midst of this great recession, business is booming. At busy times, during midterms and finals, my company's staff of roughly 50 writers is not large enough to satisfy the demands of students who will pay for our work and claim it as their own.
You would be amazed by the incompetence of your students' writing. I have seen the word desperate misspelled every way you can imagine. And these students truly are desperate. They couldn't write a convincing grocery list, yet they are in graduate school. They really need help. They need help learning and, separately, they need help passing their courses. But they aren't getting it.
For those of you who have ever mentored a student through the writing of a dissertation, served on a thesis-review committee, or guided a graduate student through a formal research process, I have a question: Do you ever wonder how a student who struggles to formulate complete sentences in conversation manages to produce marginally competent research? How does that student get by you?
This e-ghost provides the perfect anecdote for where we are: The request came in by e-mail around 2 in the afternoon. It was from a previous customer, and she had urgent business. I quote her message here verbatim (if I had to put up with it, so should you): You did me business ethics proposal for me I need proposal got approved pls can you will write me paper? I've gotten pretty good at interpreting this kind of correspondence. The client had attached a document from her professor with details about the paper. She needed the first section in a week. Seventy-five pages.
I told her no problem.
So heres my summary. The public schools have insisted for decades on doing a mediocre job. The people in charge are endlessly clever at coming up with methods and strategies that seem always to result in less education, not more. Meanwhile, higher education has become a vast multi-billion dollar industry. Follow the money. Who would dare to disrupt the flow of warm bodies to the nations colleges, where most presidents make a quarter to a half-million dollars, professors do quite well, and government loans to students keep the whole scheme in business?
To conceal this premeditated or at least permitted decline, and to give ever more students a chance to reach college and beyond, and to keep the higher-ed industry at full boil, all sorts of subterfuges (intellectual and otherwise) must be resorted to. There is real moral squalor throughout the following anecdotes.
ABCs Primetime heard the same refrain from many students who cheat: that cheating in school is a dress rehearsal for life. They mentioned President Clinton's Monica Lewinsky scandal and financial scandals like the Enron case, as well as the inconsistencies of the court system.
Whether or not you did it or not, if you can get the jury to say that you're not guilty, you're free, said Will, a student at one of the top public high schools in the nation.
Mary, a student at a large university in the South, said, A lot of people think it's like you're not really there to learn anything. You're just learning to learn the system.
Joe is a student at a top college in the Northeast who admits to cheating regularly. Like all of the college students who spoke to Primetime, he wanted his identity obscured. In Joe's view, he's just doing what the rest of the world does. The real world is terrible, he told Gibson. People will take other people's materials and pass it on as theirs. I'm numb to it already. I'll cheat to get by.
Behold what our Education Establishment has given to the nation--young adults who are cynical, dishonest, and smug about it.
Of course, everyone knows that Atlantas huge school system has similar morals. Media reports wondered how Atlanta could establish such pervasive unethical habits? Apparently some 178 educators, including 38 principals, are named as perpetrators of this educational fraud, and more than 80 have confessed to their roles in the 2011 scoring scam. Cheating took place in 44 of the 56 schools examined in the investigation. In fairness, many other cites have reported similar scandals. Naturally, you wonder how many of those educators had cheated their way through college and grad school. Its what they know how to do. Somebody suggests having a pizza party to alter grades; and these people apparently react: Sure, why not?
One ghost writer reports that nurses are a big part of his business. Do some also cheat on their exams? But tomorrow one of them might be emending or evaluating your medical records. Replicate that scene in every direction. Imagine the vast army of phonies and pretenders throughout our society. People who didnt earn their good grades, didnt deserve their advanced degrees, and dont now know their presumed area of expertise. Our society will be less productive and efficient each year.
Is it too late? Can we start over? With the new wave of elementary school kids, for example? Teach them to read, write and do arithmetic. This approach always works. Teach them that honesty is the best policy; and make it difficult to cheat. Meanwhile, teach them foundational knowledge in an orderly systematic way. Then they can pass their tests and advance honestly.
Too many high-level educators seem comfortable with taking away a childs learning and then a childs honor.
Or in the case of the African and illegal alien students theirs is such a chaotic life foisted upon them by Lyndon Bird Johnson due to the Great Society! No daddy. Who needs the jerk anyway we got wefare checks and foo stamps and all the free love we can get sos we can have mo chillen sos we gets mo money from Uncle Whiskers. We never have to work for the rest of our lives.
We know nothing so we copy. If all us are stupid we in trouble.
Our country has problems with honesty from the top at the White House on down.
We’re trying to make inner city schools fix a societal problem largely caused by liberal Democrat social policy.
No amount of money can do that.
Given the leftist drivel teachers/professors are pushing, I can understand why students would not have an issue since the teachers/professors are cheating students out of an education.
I will say that people cheated a lot when I was a kid.
Hard to say if it is worse now than it was.
Computers have brought about a huge increase in the detectability of cheating. It only looks like an epidemic because more people get caught now.
Another problem I have seen is the demand for “extracurricular activities”. You “must” have an art, a sport AND a volunteer activity to get into a college, to get scholarships, etc. It is supposed to show that you are “well rounded”. But with this busy schedule, how then do you keep up the great GPA? Cheating.
The entire problem goes MUCH deeper...due to the fact that, as a society, we have forgotten/ignored the Source of morality and goodness.
Cheating in America has now has been given the higheat stamp of approval.
The nation’s media, intellectuals, courts, government officials and organizations, communty leaders, school teachers, college professors and others have openly joined in perpetuating the fraudulent occupation of the White House by Barack Obama who cannot even provide a valid US Birth Certificate.
If cheating to get into the White House is accepted and approved, and if cheating to protect the imposter in the White House is accepted and approved, how can we expect weak minded people to get the message that cheating is bad?
Evereywhere they look, people they have been conditioned to respect as leaders are openly lying and cheating on the most significant issue of our time.
Reader’s Digest had a story very similar to this one a few months ago.
You have to be either a dirt poor minority flavor of the week or have parents with disposable time and income.
Latch-key kids (forced by taxation that drives BOTH parents to have to develop income to maintain a life) have ALL led to the destruction of honesty/integrity.
In the minority community; gang life, drugs, welfare, and "bling" are all that are sought....education is for "whitey".
What’s the poor little ‘born to be dummies’ to think when they know an esteemed president, today’s elder statesman received oral sex (BJs to you kids) in the oval orifice While speaking to a congressthing about the stupid war on Yugoslavia? That’s cheating, but then his wife thingy was abeddin’ Abeddin.
The current occupant of the White Hut has ‘cheat’ and ‘liar’ tattooed all over his scrawny body.
Students have seen nothing but the worst examples today in the people who are successful. From the political world to the corporate. Make bad/illegal business decisions, lie on balance sheets, get a bailout. Tell convincing lies on camera, get elected to public office.
Father, Son and Holy Ghost!
Someday we’ll wish we learned and lived by those Ten Commandments, but for many it will be too late. When our lights go out we’ll know for certain that we shouldn’t have been doubting Thomases who believed that saving the fat-lipped suckerfish was better than allowing farmers the water they needed to feed us.
We were too busy building Iraq and Afghanistan’s infrastructure and ‘Democracy’ to take care of our own problems the largest of which loafs in the White Hut putting his #12s on the antique desk.
Yes, they did cheat when we were in school, as well. I used to regularly provide wrong answers to people looking over my shoulder.
However, I suspect the need and opportunity have gone up a lot since then.
Your typical middle school /junior high student has illegible writing, incoherent thinking, absolutely no clue about how to even guess at spelling, and lately an in your face attitude about their inability.
When I help grade their papers, I feel dishonest in giving them high marks for meeting the grading rubric provided (assuming they are in the top few percent who are able to do this), because they are still functionally illiterate and incapable.
If you can’t do any of these things by the time you are 10 to 12, odd are against your learning them ever.
When you find the need to actually write a paragraph and realize you can’t, the pressure is suddenly on to cheat. Add to this the despair the more intelligent (or cunning) might have over the realization that they have been cheated out of an education, and have no real hope of ever catching up within the system, it can almost become the rational seeming response. No one is teaching these children that they can become their own best teacher, and no one is teaching them the ethics that cause us to decry their choices - finding someone willing to help them cheat is almost a foregone conclusion for many of them.
Now - and I suspect that a few of these students realize this, adding to the impulse to cheat - if grades are meaningless, but still relevant, why should the methods used to obtain the desired ones matter?
I believe that as a rule, we were more competent in our generation, and so more confident that we could turn in something of our own and get a meaningful and acceptable grade for it.
Exactly! And I STILL see good Americans putting FAR too much emphasis on political/economic solutions....instead of acknowledging where we went wrong and asking HIM to heal our land. When we shove God out of the picture, so to speak, we are also shoving His wonderful wisdom and protection away.
Hardship has a way of opening our eyes to the essential elements. Let’s pray that we will again have HIS vision for this nation....even if we must gain this vision through difficulty.
Cheating has existed for a long time. Only now coming to light.
Very curious that the more cheating comes to light, the more the Founding Fathers and American Institutions denigrated and criticized.
Just my opinion.
Narrator: “Was there a shadow of doubt on Ms. Grandy’s face when she looked at you?”
Crow: “Or was it lust?”
One of their best shorts ever. Nice one.
No, they did not know that I knew they were looking. Very few figured this out (thankfully).
Very well stated.
Evan Tanner, protagonist of a series of books by Lawrence Block, earned his living as a thesis-writer and test-taker. The earliest book was published in 1966, the year I was born. Teachers were common customers, because they earned compensation for credentials, independent of knowledge or job performance.
I would suggest that the vast expansion of government since the 1960s has produced ever more jobs in which check-in-a-box credentials are the main requirement. So many government jobs are tail-chasing, relevant only to other inhabitants of the maze, that “ability” to do anything but breathe really doesn’t matter. (Indeed, inability to do the job, such as it is, if often a “disability” that protects the employee from consequences.) Consequently, the employee gains nothing, on the professional level, by earning his credentials as opposed to paying someone else to do the work.
The biggest problem students in my class have is finding somebody to sit next to. Since almost all of them plan to cheat their way through, they have very few people to cheat from.
I was asked in scholarship interviews what I did with my time:
* School, studying, 4.33 GPA in several honors classes
* Worked part time to help support family
* Church, frequent church camp
Never mind my family met the “poor but good grades” category that was all the scholarships were intended for. I was asked what sports, what arts, what leadership positions? Great grades were the norm, so that didn’t matter. Working for pay didn’t count as “well rounded” or “a citizen of our society”. Church and related activities didn’t count as volunteering.
If I hadn’t majored in engineering, there wouldn’t have been any scholarships at all.
A very pretty anecdote.
One of the things I didn’t put in this article is that the system now seems designed to make sure lots of liberal professors (probably Democrats) are paid lots of money to provide liberal indoctrination to an EVER LARGER TIDE of incoming students with the goal of making sure they become Democrats. If cheating were stopped, the tide might be cut in half.
Higher education was once intended to liberate human minds. Now, too often, it seems intended to make sure that those minds never get off the reservation.
All righty then...
If you can't appreciate the pure beauty of the violin after hearing this, something's wrong with your ears.
Or you can get raw with these strings. Either way, the violin is sweet yet lethal.