Monday, December 8, 2008

Cheating - Followup

I said I'd get back to you on this Ethics Survey. Here's a preliminary look at the press releases. (I'm still trying to get the breakdowns from earlier years)
"Cheating in school continues to be rampant and it's getting worse. A substantial majority (64 percent) cheated on a test during the past year (38 percent two or more times), up from 60 percent and 35 percent, respectively, in 2006."
I have problems with that kind of a blanket statement when it's based on a self-reported survey handed out in classes across the nation. I also notice that the sensationalistic statement "and it's getting worse" seems more appropriate to a consultant driving his business in professional development seminars than a true scientist whose own data seem to undermine his thunder.
Sure, the self-reported cheating is up, but only because the Institute was very careful to pick the right goal posts. 2008 is up, but lower than much of the last decade. Is this a blip or a long-term upward motion? Are we still within the margin of error (3% for many questions because of the breakdowns)?
Also, in reading the past press releases, it seems as though the main focus of the Institute is the Character Flaw of the Year, whatever it is.
I remain unconvinced, however, with the basic premise of these surveys. Kids exaggerate boldly and humorously. I don't think they are any better or any worse than we were at that age. Maybe only more willing to say so, but even that is debatable.
I am sure that it will be a "standard" we'll have to meet at some point - develop their character with this curriculum and DVD and there'll be a multiple-choice state-developed test to show progress and to enable our student directed action plan agenda item to be eliminated from the forefront of the establishment and it's mission statement. We test, therefore we are good.

1 comment:

  1. Read your comment on American Thinker. You want hard evidence? See the graph within the linked article and note that the study has involved over 60,000 kids over 20 years. Depending on one's worldview the results will either make one jump for joy or be a serious wake-up call.

    Peace out.