Cheating…an Epidemic in our Schools

Hello Everyone! I hope all is well with you! I’m back after a two week Halloween Party. It was a blast! And I want to take just a minute and thank all the wonderful authors and contestants who participated in our event. I hope you had a great time and we’ll try and brew up some new and exciting events in the months to come. So stay tuned!

The topic that I want to discuss today is cheating.  From my research, I found that cheating is a way of life in our schools today.  At first, I was surprised by this but then I looked back on my own high school days, and realized that cheating was prevalent back then too.

Back in my day, (not so long ago, wink) I remember a certain football player who wanted to copy my answers on a test in health class. The teacher had left the room and there was a debate between all the students. Half of them wanted me to let him copy my answers and the other half didn’t. What a dilemma I was in, because I liked him and considered him a friend, but I didn’t want to get caught cheating.

Luckily, the teacher returned, and the class settled down.  I didn’t have to make that decision. But what about kids who do?  From what I’ve learned, it’s become easier and easier to cheat. It’s almost the norm nowadays.  There is tremendous pressure on teens to get good grades and many are taking the quickest route to success.

And it’s hard for parents to caution against the perils of cheating when kids get away with it and are rewarded with good grades. And isn’t that the goal? Good grades?

What makes the process even more difficult is that these students see adults cheating as well. In fact, what do you do when your own school does it? In this article,  http://newsfeed.time.com/2011/07/06/investigation-finds-widespread-cheating-in-atlanta-schools/

Authorities found that educators in Atlanta were changing test answers on students’ tests in order to get a better score.  Officials suspect this is a widespread problem brought on by the initiative “No child left behind” where teachers can suffer salary cuts and lose their job if their class doesn’t meet the requirements specified by this initiative.

So what’s the answer to the cheating epidemic that seems to be a problem not only among students but teachers as well?

In my opinion, the problem is that we’ve become a results oriented society.  Our society is sending this message and our kids are smart…they’re picking it up loud and clear, and that message is…we don’t care how you get the best score…it only matters that you get it.

How very sad.  We’re not doing our children any favors by sending this message. We need to shift that focus from results to the learning process. That’s right. 🙂 We need our kids to be graded on how much they’ve learned or improved and let’s make learning fun again! I mean when they were babies those kids were curious they wanted to learn. Now, that curiosity has been snuffed out because society says you’ve got to learn these specific things and you’ve got to achieve this result. I don’t know about you, but for me that takes all the fun out of it!

I know what you’re thinking, how in the world are we going to do that? That is a good question and I don’t have all the answers, but I’ve got some ideas, but you knew that didn’t you? 🙂 In my opinion, as parents we need to focus on the strengths of each of our children.  And we need to work in conjunction with educators in developing those strengths. I believe that our kids will grow up with healthier self-esteem and more confidence because they were able to develop these strengths.

There’s a great book available written by Jenifer Fox, M. Ed., titled “Your Child’s Strengths” and it’s a great resource for parents and teachers. We need to start there and create an educational environment that allows each child to develop their strengths. By doing this, we’ll eliminate the cheating problem we have in our schools today.

You can find the book in many book stores or on Amazon. Here’s the link.

http://www.amazon.com/Your-Childs-Strengths-Teachers-ebook/dp/B000VMFF5M

I know what you’re thinking…that’s going to be hard to do. You’re right it is…we’d have to revamp the whole educational system…but aren’t our kids worth it?

I’d love to hear any other ideas or thoughts on the topic. 🙂 Feel free to leave a comment and thanks for stopping by!

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About Lisa Orchard

I'm a Young Adult Author with two new series, "The Starlight Chronicles" and "The Super Spies." The first one's a coming of age series and the second one's a mystery/thriller series. I'm also the mother of two boys who keep me hopping and they're my inspiration for everything. When I'm not shuttling my boys to school or a play date, I'm writing. When I'm not writing, I'm reading, hiking, or sometimes running. I love anything chocolate and scary movies too.
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12 Responses to Cheating…an Epidemic in our Schools

  1. sharonledwith says:

    Great post, Lisa! It is sad that it’s the results that count and not the process. A great example of this is Lance Armstrong. Cheaters truly never prosper. Children need to develop the tools to handle the challenges set before them, and the schools don’t seem to help guide kids in that direction. Here’s an awesome book that I think will change education: The Element, by Ken Robinson. Cheers and thanks for letting me be part of the Halloween party!

  2. Maria says:

    I totally agree! Cheating is too big a problem to overlook. Cheats in video games, answers to tests, using whatever you can to get ahead. Our society lives for results. It’s like there’s hardly any conscience left nowadays. Being a teen myself, I see plenty of it. Results, results, results! Shouldn’t it matter how we get there? Books and movies are about the journey, the plot, how things go over the course of the story. Should we restrict this sentiment only to an entertainment source? No!!! It’s how real life is supposed to go. Cheating is wrong.

    • Lisa Orchard says:

      Thanks for stopping by Maria! I’m so glad to hear that you feel that way! I agree with you! It’s the process and what we learn from it that matter! And there’s another problem with our society…in our entertainment industry we teach teens that it’s the journey that counts not the destination, but when they get into corporate America all that matters to them are results. In my opinion, this mindset is very confusing and creates a lot of confusion for our young people today! Maria, I’d love to hear any ideas you may have on how to change the system! Thanks again for stopping by! 🙂

  3. Cordelia Fitzgerald says:

    I’m glad you’re addressing this issue Lisa! Cheating was heavily penalized in my high school program – it got you kicked out! I don’t know if this scared most of us into not cheating or not getting caught but no one took it lightly. By the time my youngest sister graduated, cheating had apparently evolve to a cool thing to do. Everyone cheated. Especially the smart kids. I don’t think they understood it the same way we did. It wasn’t a big deal to them. I don’t know if it’s a generation thing where everyone gets too friendly with each other and nearly all boundaries are let down, but these kids had been with each other since middle school and cheating was not something they bat an eye at. It shocked me when I heard how rampant it was but she looked at me as if I was the one who was being weird!

    • Lisa Orchard says:

      Thanks for stopping by Cordelia! I agree, cheating seems to be the norm today and I find that very sad. I think teens today are missing out on the joy of learning and truly accomplishing a goal. If you cheat to accomplish a goal I believe it’s a false sense of success, there’s no way to apply what you’ve learned because you haven’t really learned it.

  4. In recent weeks, the ‘turnitinnow’ site has been showing up in my blog tracking stats more frequently. On the one hand, as a B- English student who almost failed English altogether first semester of college (years ago), I’m flattered someone would feel my writing worth stealing. However, plagiarism is wrong! Let me repeat that, plagiarism is wrong! I didn’t get to the place I am in my writing by copying the works of others. I had to put in the effort it required, and still do.

    In the electronic world we live in today, it is easier for students to cheat. This doesn’t only happen in middle or high school, but college as well. On the college level there are consequences to cheating…big consequences like being expelled with no recourse if found guilty. Some colleges have a zero-tolerance policy. The kids who are now cheating their way through high school might find themselves in a whole new game when they reach college. But, even that doesn’t always happen.

    We need to get back to the days when morals and ethics were the primary compass of our lives.

    • Lisa Orchard says:

      Thanks so much for stopping by Butterflyphinx! You raise a very good point…the electronic age has certainly made it much easier to cheat and not get caught. We do need to get back to those days when morals and ethics were the compass in our lives and I think it needs to start with our schools. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! You raise a very good point! 🙂

  5. Sherry Gloag says:

    I remember being furious when our neighour gave our (then) ten year old son a mug that said ‘If at first you don’t succed – cheat’ now they just call it ‘trickledown’ here in the UK.

    • Lisa Orchard says:

      Thanks for stopping by Sherry. I understand your anger…all your hard parenting work and someone comes along and tries to undo it…very frustrating! 🙂 It’s really sad that cheating has become the norm in our society.

  6. I asked some of my high school students if cheating was wrong and they shrugged and said no. When I asked why not they couldn’t tell me.

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