Your comments: Cheating widespread?
March 30th, 2012
03:20 PM ET

Your comments: Cheating widespread?

by the Schools of Thought Editors

(CNN) - This week we reported on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s investigation into possible nationwide cheating on standardized tests.

Read: Report: Test cheating may be widespread.

There were hundreds of comments on this story, many of them focused on different aspects of this story, from security, to teacher evaluation, to No Child Left Behind pressure, to flaws in our culture. Here’s a sampling of what was posted, edited for length and clarity:

WhatNow said:I  know people want accountability in schools, however, when you tie test scores to a teachers’ job security, you set the groundwork for problems. Once upon a time, we used the bell-shaped curve to decide if a teacher was doing their job. For those who don't know, that meant we actually expected some students to excel, most would be average and some would even fail. Somewhere along the line, we decided that all should be passing with high grades. If not, it must be the teachers’ fault. Why? Not everyone will be great in school. Not everyone deserves an A. Everyone deserves the opportunity to an education. This does not mean that all will be successful. We need a new way to evaluate teachers.”

Leila said: “If test scores are tied to job security, we will see many more cases of cheating, especially in underserved school districts where people live below the poverty line, where many kids live in motels rather than real homes, and where many kids are living with relatives because CPS intervened or parents are incarcerated. Exaggeration? No. This is reality. It is a challenge to motivate kids who come to school sick, are battling with domestic issues, and poverty. Try teaching the art of persuasive writing, proper diction, syntax, sophisticated vocabulary and compound sentences to kids who quite frankly have far more important and life threatening issues to deal with when 3:00 comes around. In my school, we are not only educators, but we are counselors, listeners, advisers, and sometimes protectors. There ARE other factors out there involved in educating our at-risk, underperforming students.”

kls817 said: “Maybe we need to keep the tests out of the hands of the teachers, who might be tempted to edit them. Have a third party administer and collect the tests. This does involve a small amount of additional head count, but it is needed.”

Solex said:You are a teacher making $38,000 a year. Your budget has been slashed and slashed and slashed until you have almost ZERO resources. Your classes are twice the size they should be. Now you are told that unless at least 65% of your class passes the standardized tests you are out of a job. So you cheat a little to make sure you stay employed and also hope to help as many kids as you can. I may not condone what they did, but I do understand their reasoning.”

Rob said:I'm seeing a lot of people here pointing fingers at teachers, parents, unions etc., but none of that is relevant. The problem is in the very system itself that creates strong incentives for teachers and administrators to cheat... As a college professor, I can tell you that what we need are not more kids who can succeed on standardized tests. We need more kids who have been taught to think and reason, and who have mastered the fundamental skills of writing and mathematics. Those things will never happen under our current system.”

keith1952 said:You don't have to teach to the test if the test is over the curriculum that is supposed to be covered in the school year.”

Michael said:As a teacher, I'm struck by the fact that most of the people who have commented on this story seem to ‘get it.’ Why then, as a society, do we put in place systems which totally defy logic?”

Dan said:Occam's razor says that the simplest possible explanation is the most likely. Instead of assuming a huge rash of uncoordinated cheating, why is there no discussion about the testing system as a judgment of student growth being a broken system? That is a simple explanation that covers all bases. While some cheating on testing, as with any enterprise, may occur, it seems unlikely that such cheating would be as widespread and endemic as suggested in this article.”

Grob Hahn said:I get so tired of hearing how the parents should share equal parts of the ‘blame’ in this game of government school control. Like it or not, most parents are not particularly good at teaching or we wouldn't need schools at all. You have our children for eight hours a day, we have them for what, four or so? How about we parents only catch one-third of the ‘blame’ or even one-sixth (since we aren't professionally trained educators like YOU!) Or, we could simply consider the children as a priority instead of all the other crap school systems juggle to stay relevant...”

MDH said: “What does this high level of cheating say about the moral standing of our society? If teachers and administrators cheat on such a high level, no one can be trusted. Everyone is focused on greed and self-preservation. We are heading into a very dim future. There is no way to hold students accountable for their acts, when the adults are the real crooks.”

Stephen said:Anytime you have teachers union members administering tests you can expect that there will be cheating. Teachers unions aren't concerned about the business of educating kids they are concerned about the education business. In the education business it is perfectly acceptable to cheat if it will result in higher pay and benefits. The business of educating kids is a dying concept because of the emphasis of teachers unions being on the education business. Higher pay and benefits trumps higher test scores and graduation rates. Therefore one must cheat. Justified, right! Not really but that is the concept being pushed by the union bosses.”

Devils Advocate said:  “This is because of the No Child Left Behind act. While this sounds good on paper, if everyone can/should pass the test then the test is too easy. The test scores should follow a bell curve like IQ scores do.”

Eroteme said:Our new culture: There is nothing wrong with a little cheating, cheating to achieve a worthy goal.Everyone does it, why shouldn't I?  Nothing wrong with cheating so long as it is done honestly.”

O.T. said:I've seen the results of No Child Left Behind in the classroom. These standardized tests were neutron bombs that destroyed learning but left the buildings standing.”

NC Guy said:Just convert to online testing. The teacher doesn't see the tests before the students take it. Problem solved. Or, create and offer an effective method of online teaching. Kids like technology and they like staring at a computer more than a blackboard or a book. We should use that fact to our advantage.”

No you-know-what Sherlock! said:So... test cheating may be widespread. Ya think?”

Posted by
Filed under: Cheating • Policy • Practice • Testing • Voices
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Mathew Brasier

    Hello this is somewhat of off topic but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML. I'm starting a blog soon but have no coding knowledge so I wanted to get advice from someone with experience. Any help would be enormously appreciated!

    April 12, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
  2. goto

    Excellent post. I was checking constantly this weblog and I'm inspired! Very useful info specifically the final part🙂 I deal with such info much. I was seeking this certain info for a very long time. Thank you and best of luck.

    April 9, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
  3. All In One Computer Reviews

    You understand thus considerably when it comes to this matter, made me personally consider it from so many numerous angles. Its like women and men are not fascinated except it's one thing to do with Lady gaga! Your personal stuffs excellent. Always maintain it up!

    April 8, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
  4. deals deals deals

    Great items from you, man. I have be mindful your stuff prior to and you are simply extremely wonderful. I really like what you have bought right here, really like what you're stating and the way in which wherein you are saying it. You're making it entertaining and you continue to take care of to keep it sensible. I cant wait to learn much more from you. That is really a wonderful site.

    April 7, 2012 at 11:14 am |
  5. Join Scentsy Canada Sell Scentsy Canada Sell Scentsy Ireland Become a Scentsy Consultant Puerto Rico Sell Scentsy Online Sell Scentsy Candles from Home Sell Candle Online Sell Candles Make Money Start a Candle Business Online with Scentsy Work from Home B

    I've read some excellent stuff here. Certainly worth bookmarking for revisiting. Thanks!

    April 6, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
  6. online shopping in europe

    Hello, i feel that i saw you visited my weblog thus i got here to return the desire?.I'm trying to in finding things to enhance my web site!I assume its ok to use some of your concepts!!

    April 5, 2012 at 3:23 am |
  7. jocuri de facut mancare

    Great blog right here! Also your website rather a lot up very fast! What host are you using? Can I am getting your associate link in your host? I wish my web site loaded up as quickly as yours lol

    April 4, 2012 at 1:28 am |
  8. up games

    I savor, result in I discovered just what I used to be having a look for. You've ended my four day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye

    April 2, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
  9. this blog

    I'm really inspired with your writing skills as smartly as with the structure in your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself? Anyway stay up the nice quality writing, it is uncommon to see a nice blog like this one nowadays..

    April 2, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  10. Part P Electricians in Leeds

    Undeniably believe that which you stated. Your favorite justification seemed to be at the internet the easiest factor to take into account of. I say to you, I certainly get irked whilst other people consider concerns that they just do not recognise about. You controlled to hit the nail upon the top and also outlined out the whole thing with no need side-effects , other folks could take a signal. Will likely be again to get more. Thank you

    April 2, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
  11. Employment,unemployment,Employment definition,Employment statistics,Employment development department,Employment guide,Employment security commission,Google employment,Employment applicatio

    We're a bunch of volunteers and opening a brand new scheme in our community. Your site provided us with valuable info to paintings on. You have done an impressive job and our whole neighborhood can be thankful to you.

    April 1, 2012 at 2:18 am |
  12. free car games

    certainly like your website but you need to test the spelling on quite a few of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling problems and I to find it very bothersome to tell the truth nevertheless I'll surely come back again.

    March 31, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  13. boatgames.biz

    Wonderful items from you, man. I've be mindful your stuff prior to and you are just extremely great. I really like what you've obtained right here, really like what you're stating and the way wherein you say it. You're making it enjoyable and you still take care of to keep it sensible. I can not wait to learn far more from you. That is really a tremendous site.

    March 31, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
  14. free cop games

    I do believe all of the ideas you've presented on your post. They're really convincing and can certainly work. Nonetheless, the posts are very brief for beginners. Could you please prolong them a little from next time? Thank you for the post.

    March 31, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
  15. Gamat

    Hello my friend! I want to say that this article is awesome, nice written and include approximately all important infos. I would like to look more posts like this .

    March 31, 2012 at 5:38 am |
  16. to make money quickly

    I do not even know the way I stopped up here, but I believed this submit used to be good. I do not realize who you're however definitely you are going to a well-known blogger in case you are not already. Cheers!

    March 31, 2012 at 4:56 am |
  17. live channels online

    I do not even know how I stopped up right here, however I assumed this submit was good. I do not understand who you might be however definitely you're going to a famous blogger if you happen to aren't already. Cheers!

    March 31, 2012 at 4:44 am |
  18. frog information

    Wonderful items from you, man. I have take into accout your stuff prior to and you are just too fantastic. I really like what you have acquired right here, really like what you are stating and the way during which you say it. You make it entertaining and you continue to care for to stay it smart. I can't wait to learn much more from you. This is really a great site.

    March 31, 2012 at 4:23 am |
  19. the truther

    We are cheating because we allowed our children to mingle with Asians.

    We all know asians cheat. We are allowing our children to be corrupted

    March 31, 2012 at 2:33 am |
  20. Ignored

    Years ago, I reported standardized test irregularities by the ESL dept.with my homeroom students. My superior blew me off!! This probably happens a LOT.

    March 30, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
  21. Mary

    When I was in school, grammar school and high school, I cheated every chance I had. In every subject, in every class. Cheating is like a rite of passage. Tests aren;t usually designed to show what you "learned", only what you "memorized", If a teacher is good at their job, then a test should test what you learn, studying should be minimal and the questions should be relevant. I think every student cheats, unless they are so deadly fearful of being caught!!!

    March 30, 2012 at 5:14 pm |