Thursday, July 12, 2012

The New York Times weighs in on high school cheating

Image representing New York Times as depicted ...
Image via CrunchBase
The headline: At Top School, Cheating Voids 70 Pupils’ Tests.

The commentary: "The revelations that dozens of Stuyvesant students had cheated on tests not considered particularly challenging for them were the latest example of the competitive pressures inside top schools."

Latest example of competitive pressures? At which point the Ball Bounces asks, "who wrote this?". Back to top of page. Ah, the New York Times. That explains it. Not the students' fault.

Next up at the New York Times: "Shoplifting Latest Example of Competitive Pressure to Look Good And Wear Nice Things"; "Steroid Use By Athletes Latest Example of Competitive Pressure to Win".

The principal of the school weighed in: "Stanley Teitel sent a letter to dozens of students implicated in the cheating, telling them he found this 'breach of integrity very serious.'"

A breach of integrity taken very seriously -- is that it? What makes the principal think there was integrity to begin with? And what does "seriously" end up meaning? According to the article, the impact on most of the students is they have to re-take the exam.

That's it? How about an automatic zero as a minimum?

If we want to develop moral citizens, shouldn't moral behavior be one of the criteria of academic success?

And that's the way the Ball bounces.
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Anon1152 said...

In fairness, the article does talk about students facing consequences in addition to having to retake the test.

And... I see nothing illogical in saying that the cheating is a sign of "competitive pressures" and in saying that individuals are responsible for their actions.

An explanation (especially a partial explanation) is not the same thing as an excuse

RkBall said...

Yes, but, there is no evidence actually presented that the cheating was due to competitive pressures. Not a single student's comment. At the end of the day, it's a question of character, not competition.

Plus, if it's competitive pressures, why are the students freely colluding with one another?!

Anon1152 said...

"Plus, if it's competitive pressures, why are the students freely colluding with one another?!"

Maybe they aren't as smart as they're supposed to be...

"... nothing intellectually compelling or challenging.. bald assertions coupled to superstition... woefully pathetic"