Thursday, December 11, 2008

Students cheat, you know.

Yup, almost 64 percent of them claim to have done it at least once last year. A few manage to hack into the grading system. The truly unique don't get caught. Everyone else gets on NBC.

There are so many life lessons here, it's difficult to know where to start. Like the Bronx, NY admin who got caught changing 1000s of test answers, these kids got caught because they ignored the fundamental rules of getting away with it. They did too much, too often, too suddenly and too loud.

Richmond County high school students caught changing grades
By NBC Augusta Staff
AUGUSTA, Ga. - Nearly 30 students at Glenn Hills High School are in hot water for cheating. Richmond County's executive director of high schools, says one student swiped a teacher's password and offered it to other students over the summer. The director said the student's score changed to 100 within minutes of receiving a failing grade. In one case a student was given a passing grade to a test she never took. The students were suspended for up to 10 days and lost credit for the online class they took. The student who stole the password has been withdrawn from the school.

Too much: if you are a bad student who has never gotten better than a 60 when a grade of 100 appears for a test, "You might be a Redneck Cheater." It doesn't take much to skim a list of numbers. Raise the grade 10% and I'll miss it. Raise it to 100% and I won't.

Too often: do something too often and the teacher is bound to notice and start checking against the paper gradebook. Do it just once and the single good grade stands out as an anomaly. You need to find the happy medium.

Too suddenly: don't change the grade the teacher just entered! (within minutes, no less!) It's still fresh in his mind. Change the something from three tests ago when you came in for a retest. The retest is the anomaly, so look to change a few grades AROUND it. A rising tide lifts all boats.

Too loud: The quiet ones are never suspect. The ones who brag to friends are always caught. Students don't realize that teachers LISTEN. Shut up and smile and shrug your shoulders.
Also follow these handy guidelines - Don't be ...

Too brash: Don't come out looking like the best kid in the class when you've been the loser all along. Give everyone a random 10-15% bump. Play Santa. Get into the Spirit of the Season.

Too weird: Don't just bump up your one bad grade. Why on Earth would you suddenly be a star in math after all this time? Raise all of your grades a little bit.

Too personal: Really throw them for a loop - reduce everyone's grades but your own and have a faked grade report sheet ready, proving you should have had a better grade. Then let the teacher feel guilty about your grades along with everyone else's and helpfully let him have a photocopy of the faked grade report.

To teachers who complain that I'm giving them ideas - I'm really showing you the ways to notice when someone is scamming you. #1 way to prevent that is to use Curmudgeon's Concerted Cheating Cancellation Cards. For three easy payments of a photocopier, you can prevent cheating too. Call now.

Monthly, either print out a hardcopy of your electronic gradebook or photocopy the sheets of your paper one. Notify the students that you do this and leave it at home. At any time you think something might have happened, take a cursory look at the two and you'll see the changes easily. You'll know.

Don't you just love the "The student who stole the password has been withdrawn from the school" line? Really? You don't say.

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