compliments of Bing.com
I always love a good infographic. They provide a creative glimpse at a topic with some hard data.
The infographic above reflects the progress of school choice movements.
School choice is certainly not a topic that is going away. It has been pushed on the back burner by many lawmakers in various states, but parents are demanding school choice programs. I envision that we will soon see another big push for School Choice and voucher systems.
Only time will tell in which direction are lawmakers will take our schools.
Infographic above courtesy of voiceforschoolchoice.com
Back in January for National School Choice Week, a rally was held at Union Station to promote School Choice.
Check out this article the Chicago Tribune wrote about the rally.
Chicago is in the midst of closing/consolidating over 50 schools before next school year begins. School Choice for parents and students is at a critical point in Chicago. Do we make room for more charter schools? Ultimately, that is what many of the soon-to-be empty public schools will be taken over by. Do we provide opportunities for students to attend private schools? The Big Shoulders Fund in Chicago is one such organization that provides opportunities for inner-city children to attend area Catholic schools. Educational choices are changing and the system needs to start working with parents and schools so as to provide the best opportunities for our children.
I came across two editorials from March of 2011 in USA Today.
The first editorial: Our view: When teachers cheat, don’t blame standardized tests offers an interesting take on ways to deter cheating on standardized tests by both teachers and students.
The second editorial: Opposing view: Address real cause of cheating addresses ways to handle the root cause of cheating.
While both editorials are over two years old, they offer perspectives that are often not heard.
Check out the editorials and let me know what you think.
Unfortunately, cheating is happening in our schools. Now we have to determine how to prevent, support and take action. The following videos from youtube show a student cheating, a video on a technique to use for cheating and then concludes with an article from Harvard about the consequences of cheating.
View Video- Worst Test Cheater in Action
and then you have videos (one of many) like this for students to view and consider…. (check out how many people have viewed)
View Video-Cheat and never get caught
and actions that are taken when cheating occurs in a classroom….
Harvard University punishes students caught in cheating scandal; more than half of the accused forced to temporarily withdraw
By David Knowles / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
After months of trying to ferret out cheaters at one of the country’s most prestigious universities, Harvard officials say they have concluded the punishment phase of their investigation. More than half of the students implicated in the cheating scandal were asked to leave the university for varying amounts of time, Michael D. Smith, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Dean, said in an email.
Members of Harvard University’s basketball, football, baseball and hockey teams were ensnared in a cheating investigation. Some were forced to temporarily withdraw from the school after being confronted in the fall. Harvard University hopes that veritas has finally been restored. The nation’s oldest college announced that it had finished doling out punishment in its months-long investigation in a highly-publicized cheating scandal. Faculty of Arts and Sciences Dean Michael D. Smith sent out a campus-wide email Friday saying that more than half of the 125 students implicated in the investigation into cheating had been asked to leave the school for for a period of time. The allegations of cheating stemmed from a spring semester government course titled “Introduction to Congress” after a teaching assistant noticed that some students had given identical answers on a take-home test. While some of the students received their punishment in the fall, others were notified in late December, the school said. “This is a time for communal reflection and action,” Smith wrote. “We are responsible for creating the community in which our students study and we all thrive as scholars.” The cheating scandal was a constant topic of conversation and anxiety among students, and members of the basketball, football, baseball and hockey teams were ensnared in the investigation. “The students who are implicated in this scandal from last spring still need to be recognized as members of our community . They shouldn’t feel alienated from Harvard,” said Harvard Undergraduate Council President Tara Raghuveer. “This was an unfortunate incident. Students are being punished accordingly.” Smith said that the college would now concentrate on new ways to help the college live up to its famous motto: honesty.
Article from New York Daily News; article by David Knowles on Feb. 1, 2013; The videos were taken from Youtube.com.
I found the article interesting that it offered some valid points and examples of cheating.
I think the idea of cheating as a crisis, however, is a bit far-fetched.
Check out the article for yourself and let me know what you think in the comments.
How do we—teachers, students, public at large—define cheating?
Merriam-Webster has several definitions of the word cheat. The one I find most descriptive for an educational setting states, “to violate rules dishonestly.”
Now, this definition could be applied to a whole slew of things that occur in an educational system. How about the fact that there are rules in regards to special education services that my students are supposed to be receiving, and yet, the public school system refuses to act. The system is certainly violating rules dishonestly.
How about the fact that teacher are supposed to be observed a certain number of times per year in order for the administration to properly evaluate a teacher. In the past two years, I have had two observations. Administration certainly knows the rules and is violating them dishonestly.
And, yes, students cheat as well when they violate rules dishonestly. They know they cannot copy someone else’s math homework, and, yet, they continue to do so. They are certainly violating rules dishonestly. On the other hand, students need to be taught about providing citations in their writing in order to avoid plagiarism. Copying and pasting from the Internet is cheating. But if students do not know the rule, then we cannot constitute it as cheating.
Ultimately, how can we expect students to uphold all the rules honestly when there is dishonesty surrounding them?
When we look at cheating, should we first be looking at the underlying causes vs. what do we do when someone cheats? Study skill articles and self help information is frequently published for students and staff to benefit a healthy school system. Due to being fully immersed in the culture, you may find it rare to be able to spend time reading important information to help your classroom or your own study skills. I found this article at Carnegie Mellon University from the Student Affairs Center where it outlines the student and staff responsibilities and possible causes of cheating. Even though it is written by university writers, I think that each of the areas can be easily translated into lower grade levels. I applaud how this article is organized by showing that we need to understand each others perspectives or reasoning before working together to meet mutual goals in the classroom. There is academic and moral responsibility for both students and instructors.
Why do students cheat?
It is a rare individual who actively chooses to be dishonest. But why do a few students make compromising choices? What can lead people to act in ways that they aren’t proud of? Below are some underlying beliefs and confusions which students at Carnegie Mellon give as explanations for slipping standards of integrity.
A Victimless Crime?
Students generally are familiar with the disciplinary actions and penalties for getting caught. However, they may fail to understand that one of the personal consequences of cheating and/or plagiarism is that they aren’t actually learning or practicing the material. They may not realize that they will actually need and be accountable for certain knowledge and skills.
Instructors may not explain the personal consequences and loss of trust that accompany academic dishonesty if they are focused mainly on stating the procedures and punishments related to academic disciplinary actions. They may not tell students how dishonesty damages their trust in a student and his or her work which can affect a student’s ability to get a strong recommendation for employment or graduate school.
It’s a “Dog-Eat-Dog” University
Students and their families often have very high expectations about grade achievements because they are accustomed to getting As. More pressure comes from the emphasis on grades in hiring and graduate admissions. Some students may feel pressured to develop unorthodox means to get competitive and marketable credentials.
Instructors sometimes evaluate the performance of one student against the performance of others instead of measuring each student’s achievement with respect to specified criteria. If students must compete with other students to get one of a limited number of As, they begin to look for ways to “get ahead.”
If Everyone Else Jumped in a Lake . . .
Students sometimes view cheating as a necessary, not totally unacceptable method for academic survival. If they believe that “everyone cheats sometimes,” they may not seriously ask themselves, “Why shouldn’t I?”
Professors and teaching assistants do not always confront suspected breaches of academic integrity. If they perceive that others do not pursue the formal process or that it is difficult to prove a breach has occurred, instructors may decide not to talk directly with students about potential problems. Instructors may no report an incident from their course believing that the student has “learned their lesson” but with no official record of the incident there is no way of knowing whether the student had cheated before or cheats again.
Too Much Work, Too Little Time?
Students often have multiple assignments due on the same day and in some courses may have only a few opportunities to demonstrate what they know. Cheating can be a tempting path when they have difficulty managing their time. Some may have little remorse because they rationalize “doing what it takes” to get all of their work done. One poor performance on a high-stakes assignment or feeling “shafted out of an A” by a curve may increase the perceived pressure to switch from honest work to questionable “shortcuts.”
Instructors often underestimate students’ need for multiple assignments to get feedback, to receive a fair grade, and to stay motivated to learn. Sometimes in an effort to reduce the workload, they may not think about the intense pressure on students when a course grade is based only on a midterm and a final. Or, in an effort to provide lots of timely practice and feedback, others may lose track of how much pressure students feel to meet deadlines.
The Past is Passed On
Students are accustomed to sharing their work from past semesters with others and using friends’ old exams to study, and they are often encouraged to do so. But the limits of a good learning strategy can be stretched too far if students “borrow” from papers, homework sets or lab reports done by other students.
Instructors often do a good job of varying exam questions and assignments from semester to semester. But they may begin to resent the time and suspicion involved in altering effective materials just to take precautions against potential cheating or plagiarism. Even if specific instructions are given for students not to access past materials, students report that past materials are very easy to come by and often too alluring to pass up.
Do We Have to Spell Everything Out?
Students recognize the obvious examples of academic dishonesty such as copying during an exam or quoting extensively without a citation. They can be much less clear on how much collaboration is allowed, what kind of paraphrasing is appropriate to summarize a source or whether one assignment can be turned in for two different classes. If students are not accustomed to thinking about the ownership of ideas, they tend to underreport their sources.
Instructors often state their expectations for tests and about quoting, footnoting, and paraphrasing in papers and they outline the consequences of being dishonest. However, they may not state precisely what they consider to be appropriate collaboration (if any) and what they recommend as guidelines for teamwork.
Playing the Odds
Students sometimes feel that receiving a zero for an exam or a paper is a justified penalty for cheating, but they may also convince themselves that they won’t get caught. And they can be reinforced in this thinking if grading procedures aren’t planned carefully or if instructors don’t follow up on suspicious incidents.
Instructors may have difficulty discovering that students copied or inappropriately collaborated on assignments when a large number of exams and papers must be graded. Grading procedures which include comparison among students and across multiple sections take extra time so instructors sometimes bet on their ability to spot students’ papers which are strikingly similar.
Don’t Rock the Boat
Students often feel they need to stick together and watch out for each other; thus, they feel extremely reluctant to report a peer’s academic dishonesty, even when they suspect someone they don’t like. They think, “Would I want them to report me if they thought I was cheating?” The answer usually is no, so they often let it slide. To avoid confrontation, they may not even talk to a friend.
Instructors sometimes avoid discussions of questionable behaviors with individual students. Some are honestly confused about whether an initial discussion has to lead to a charge of dishonesty and a potentially long procedure (it doesn’t). Instructors may also be reluctant to approach a student about questionable work without solid evidence because they don’t want to make unwarranted accusations.
Carnegie Mellon University 5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
The following article was written by Grace Fleming from About.com Guide. In reviewing articles about cheating, I like how this article points out the common practices that are happening in high schools and how this practice transfers into colleges. I think that the more teachers show students specific examples of cheating and are clear about what is or is not acceptable, the more knowledgeable students will become in meeting expectations and being true in their work. We do not want to make assumptions of what our students know and do not know.
Cheating with Technology
By Grace Fleming, About.com Guide
Educators are showing serious concern about cheating in high schools, and for good reason. Cheating has become commonplace in high schools, largely because students are using technology to gather and share information in rather innovative ways. Since students are a little more tech-savvy than many adults, grownups are always playing catch-up when it comes to finding out what students are up to.
But this technology-centered cat-and-mouse activity can be fatal to your educational future. Students start to blur the ethical boundaries and think it’s OK to do many things, simply because they’ve gotten away with them in the past. While parents and high school teachers might be less savvy than their students about using cell phones and calculators to share work, and too overworked to catch cheaters, college professors are a little different. They have graduate assistants, college honor courts, and cheat-detecting software that they can tap into.
Since students use tools and techniques that have not been used before, they might not always know what really constitutes cheating. For your information, the following activities constitute cheating. They can get you kicked out of college.
•Buying a paper from an Internet site
•Sharing homework answers via IMs, email, text messaging, or any other device
•Using a whiteboard to share answers
•Having another student write a paper for you
•Cutting and pasting text from the Internet without citing it
•Using sample essays from the Internet
•Using text messaging to tell somebody else an answer
•Programming notes into your calculator
•Taking and/or sending a cell phone picture of test material or notes
•Video recording lectures with cell phones and replaying during test
•Surfing web for answers during a test
•Using a pager to receive information during a test
•Viewing notes on your PDA, electronic calendar, cell phone, or other device during a test
•Storing definitions in a graphing calculator or cell phone
•Using a watch to hold notes
If you’ve been transmitting answers to homework or test questions, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve been cheating—even though it might have been unintentional. The bottom line is that students can develop habits in high school that will get them expelled when they use them in college, and sometimes students won’t even realize their “habits” are illegal.
Ah, cheating. Great topic to discuss, am I right?
Cheating is an easy way out. It allows the person to get the job done and hopefully get it right. Students cheat for this easy out. They don’t want to do the work, they are lazy, they think the assignment is boring or pointless, they see no value in the work, etc.
So how do we prevent cheating?
Providing students with real-world, critical-thinking projects that allow them to produce a project will help to stop the cheating.
I don’t think this is a revolutionary idea. But by getting rid of rote worksheets and multiple-choice tests and providing guidelines for students to showcase their learning through a choice of projects, we can help students to make sense of their own learning and provide them with a real opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of a concept. Students will have a harder time cheating when they need to demonstrate their learning through a Prezi or a video. Students will likely be more engaged as well and excited to show off what they’ve learned and their projects.
How do you prevent cheating in your classroom? Any tips? Leave us a comment!