Archive for October 4th, 2011

October 4, 2011

Student cheating – the SAT, the Internet, and Ted Kennedy

by Grace

How widespread is SAT cheating?

The arrest this week of six Long Island high school students accused of cheating on the SAT is only the beginning of a wider investigation into similar behavior on the island, The New York Times reports.

A reporter for The Times, Jenny Anderson, writes that two other schools are being investigated by Kathleen M. Rice, the district attorney for Nassau County, who says she believes that the cheating problem is widespread. School officials and tutors have suggested that the Educational Testing Service, which administers the exam, should require students to take it in their own schools or notify districts when outside students are going there for the test.

Here are some numbers.

More than half of teenagers say they have cheated on a test during the last year — and 34 percent have done it more than twice — according to a survey of 40,000 U.S. high school students released in February by the nonprofit Josephson Institute of Ethics. The survey also found that one in three students admitted they used the Internet to plagiarize an assignment.

The statistics don’t get any better once students reach college. In surveys of 14,000 undergraduates conducted over the past four years by Donald McCabe, PhD, a business professor at Rutgers University and co-founder of Clemson University’s International Center for Academic Integrity, about two-thirds of students admit to cheating on tests, homework and assignments. And in a 2009 study in Ethics & Behavior (Vol. 19, No. 1), researchers found that nearly 82 percent of a sample of college alumni admitted to engaging in some form of cheating as undergraduates.

While it appears that student cheating is becoming more prevalent, this story about Ted Kennedy reminds us that this type of deceit has always been around.

… Kennedy was forced to withdraw from Harvard for two years after cheating on a Spanish final. According to “The Education of Edward Kennedy,” by Burton Hersh, the future U.S. Senator and presidential candidate had the roommate of one of his football teammates take the exam for him.

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