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View Diary: A Worm in the Apple: How Corruption Can Rot Any School (49 comments)

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  •  Its not fraud if you don't believe it. (0+ / 0-)

    If you think you are just putting on a show for irrational bureaucrats with meaningless test scores, "cheating" isn't the same as fraud.  "Fraud" is the false presentation of something worthless as something of value:  I sell you a fake necklace but tell you the diamonds are real and you believe me.

    But, if I sell you a fake necklace and tell you it is real because I am required to, and you know the necklace is fake but pretend it is real because you are required to, does it really matter if the fake necklace is made of plastic or glass?  If the whole transaction is based on a fraudulent pretense, then there can really be no fraud in the transaction itself.

    In a round-about way, what I'm saying is if there is no confident in the meaning of the test scores, the whole system is a fraud and cheating will become endemic.

    Legally you can still get in trouble.  But, if I were on a jury listening to principals and teachers explain why they thought the standardized tests were bunk, and how instead of wasting time on them or fighting them they simply faked the scores so they could move on to better educational formats, I wouldn't morally fault them.

    Of course, if they used their fraudulent test scores to achieve national fame as educational wunderkids, that would be a different story.  So I guess the moral is - the biggest cheats are probably those that score perfectly average....

    To any wingnut: If you pay my taxes I'll give you a job.

    by ban48 on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 07:51:34 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  OK, so the scores were fraudulent (0+ / 0-)

      and the teachers and principals were frauds, but no fraud was committed in a legal sense.  I'm fine with that.

      But don't forget that many of them subsequently lied about what they had done to investigators.  Did they still think it was a "show for irrational bureaucrats"?

      They should be convicted of the appropriate crimes they committed--I am not a criminal prosecutor.  

      I don't believe they necessarily should serve time, but they should be fined, perhaps some healthy portion of the financial losses incurred by the affected schools, and they should never be allowed to teach again.

      I would also advocate that other teachers shun them.

      •  well, obviously if you use fraudulent test scores (0+ / 0-)

        to achieve national fame, you are both legally and morally compromised.  Dr. Hall is getting what she deserves.  Her fraud not only deceived the parents and the school boards, but it built up the credentials of the testing process itself.

        BTW - Has anyone done a correlation study on cheating and success in business...???

        To any wingnut: If you pay my taxes I'll give you a job.

        by ban48 on Fri Apr 12, 2013 at 05:05:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I bet that correlation is low (0+ / 0-)

          if you account for other differences, like being born on 3rd base (see Bush II for a life example).

          For most people cheating can probably help with short-term success.  But once they get into grad school or med school or law school, or into a certain level job, then cheating won't be enough.  Their basic incompetence will shine through.  Evolution has selected us to have innate skills in sniffing out cheaters.  Sometimes you need to trust your instincts.

    •  That's a very interesting perspective. (0+ / 0-)

      I can't support it, but I think it's another part of how people sell themselves on it under very high pressure.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 09:53:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It is definitely a tough one, and I even scaled (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        back my original comment.  From a moral viewpoint, if you think the testing is irrational, then cheating is not a moral dilemma.  If you think the testing is harmful in that it can discourage kids, then cheating could be considered a moral imperative.  But if you are deceiving parents who place high value on testing and their kids are simply not good at it, that is itself a moral problem.

        Finally you have the legal aspect.  You might think it is bunk, your whole district might think it is bunk, but cheating can still land you in legal trouble.  Not a lot of people would be willing to risk this.

        So, I think you'll end up with a massive talent flight from teaching and a massive don't-ask-don't-tell policy.

        BTW - I'm not an educator but I am the kid who always aced these types of tests.  "Training for the test" is bunk education and wouldn't work on a kid like me.  High test scores for me were an effect but not a cause or a motivator.  It was always critical thinking, not process or rote memorization, that allowed me to succeed.

        To any wingnut: If you pay my taxes I'll give you a job.

        by ban48 on Fri Apr 12, 2013 at 05:00:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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