Texas Ed: Comments on Education from Texas

September 19, 2007

Who’s cheating now?

Remember all the controversy around TAKS scores and the Caveon analysis about possible cheating in 2006?

Everybody Does It / Academic cheating is at an all-time high. Can anything be done to stop it?

It used to be that cheating was done by the few, and most often they were the weaker students who couldn’t get good grades on their own. There was fear of reprisal and shame if apprehended. Today, there is no stigma left. It is accepted as a normal part of school life, and is more likely to be done by the good students, who are fully capable of getting high marks without cheating. “It’s not the dumb kids who cheat,” one Bay Area prep school student told me. “It’s the kids with a 4.6 grade-point average who are under so much pressure to keep their grades up and get into the best colleges. They’re the ones who are smart enough to figure out how to cheat without getting caught.”

This sounds a lot like the kids at the schools the our former TEA commissioner, Dr. Neeley, said wouldn’t have to cheat to get good TAKS scores.

Money makes you honest « Texas Ed: Comments on Education from Texas

Dr. Neeley said the wealthy districts on the list – including many considering self-investigations – are unlikely to cheat.

“You look at Highland Park, Richardson, Eanes,” she said, naming some of the state’s wealthiest districts in the Dallas and Austin areas. “Do they have to cheat to have good scores? I gave a talk in Eanes not long ago and said, ‘Do you people think Westlake High School had to cheat to get good scores?’ “

But I’m sure things are different in Texas, right?

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