Cheating Doesn’t Pass in Connecticut Schools

September 10, 2008 08:58 AM
by Lindsey Chapman
A professor has created a program aimed at helping end a cheating epidemic in U.S. high schools.

Cheating in High Schools

An assistant professor of educational psychology at the University of Connecticut says there’s a cheating epidemic in American high schools. But he believes it can be fixed.

According to the Hartford Courant, 65 percent of high school students admitted to seriously cheating on exams, and 57 percent confessed to plagiarism during a national survey of more than 25,000 high school students from 2001 to 2008.

If teachers and students work together to address the issue and form an academic integrity policy, professor Jason Stephens said, kids could focus more on learning a concept than on getting good grades and a high GPA. “Virtually all of them are cheating because the pressures of having good grades is extraordinary, more so now today than 20 to 30 years ago,” he told the Courant.

Nevada educators have had firsthand experience in seeing how students respond to academic pressures. For 2007, Nevada school officials reported a slight increase in cheating on a proficiency exam that determines whether a student graduates from high school. Kids had started using text messages and other means of cheating on the exam. “When kids get to the point that graduation depends on them passing, they get worried and desperate, unfortunately,” Sue Daellenbach, academic manager for the Clark County School District, told the Las Vegas Sun.

Even in other countries, cheating has drawn media attention. Egyptian officials recently jailed 14 people for participating in a plot to reveal the details of the country’s equivalent of the SAT test. Parents, school officials, and even a policeman  were involved in buying and selling advance copies of the exam, which “hundreds of thousands of pupils” take every year, according to the BBC. Those charged with releasing exam information were sentenced to 3–15 years in prison.

The field of academic dishonesty is growing among educational professionals. As for Stephens, he is testing his ideas at six high schools in Connecticut, and may expand to 30 schools if his work is successful. He said he may even create an “anti-cheating toolkit” for schools around the nation.

Related Topic: Teachers, manners and morals

Reference: Plagiarism prevention


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