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The Kansan - Newton, KS
  • Cheating in school

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  • The question arises, "Why do children cheat in school?" This includes copying someone's homework and claiming it as one's own or copying answers from a neighboring child during test taking time, among others. The question becomes even broader in scope when "professional" educators cheat. Thus, a superintendent of schools in the Atlanta, Georgia, area is serving prison time for providing leadership in changing pupils state standardized test scores. She is serving three years in prison. At the moment, it seemed like the thing to do to cheat in order to have an increased number of pupils pass these tests. In a second case, a superintendent of schools won a state award for exceptional achievement of her pupils in school. Later, it was discovered that mass cheating had occurred when it was determined that pupil's answers had been changed, before their answers had been machine scored. Generally, selected teachers and principals were also involved in either case of cheating. Why do these events occur? The following, among others, need consideration:
    * pressure to be known for pupils to achieve at a high rate in one's own school
    * concern over job security
    * standards being unreasonably high for pupils to achieve to be promoted to the ensuing grade level
    * an extremely high desire to have esteem needs met
    * possessing feelings of superiority
    * lack of clarity on what is moral and good behavior.
    It is indeed strange why educators, among others, ruin their own futures.
    It is very expensive to attend an accredited university for four years to receive a Baccalaureate degree (BSE) plus all the work and effort that goes therein. Next comes the master's degree (MA), followed by the Doctorate for many superintendents. Many fail to obtain the Doctorate due to problems and difficulties in writing and having the doctoral dissertation accepted for the degree award. More research studies need to be conducted in securing answers. Adults do provide models of behavior for the youngster in school and in society.
    — Marlow Ediger, North Newton

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