Kid cheats; Father sues school district

A high school sophomore supposedly cheated on homework. He was kicked out of his honors English class, and his father doesn’t deny the cheating occurred. But that’s not where it ends; that’s where it starts, says Isa-Lee Wolf for Yahoo! News. Jack Berghouse is suing California’s Sequoia Union High School District in response to his son’s demotion to regular English. As the Palo Alto Daily News reports, honors class members kept journals and four students apparently shared entries, copying them from one another despite an academic honesty pledge they signed informing them cheating was grounds for removal from the class. The mother of the student in question also signed the pledge. Berghouse claims his son’s removal violates due process and the punishment is too severe. He also asserts the school is in violation of its own plagiarism policy, which provides for dismissal after the second offense…

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New ways students cheat on tests

Are we in a cheating epidemic? Asks the Washington Post. There isn’t definitive data to reach that conclusion, though surveys suggest a big percentage of students cheat—and have for a long time. The Center for Academic Integrity at Clemson University has reported that more than 75 percent of college students cheat in some way on school work or exams at least once during their undergraduate careers. The nationwide rate of college students admitting to cheating on tests and exams is 22 percent. Of course, it’s not likely they waited until college to start to cheat…

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Fairfax school experiments with letting cheating students retake tests

The Fairfax County high school that asked teachers to all but banish F’s from its recent report cards has been experimenting with an approach that would allow students caught cheating to retake tests instead of receiving zeros, reports the Washington Post. West Potomac High School Principal Cliff Hardison last month instructed teachers to allow cheaters to retake tests. The idea was that cheating should “result in a disciplinary consequence separate from an academic consequence,” Hardison said in a Nov. 5 e-mail to teachers. Later, after complaints from parents and teachers, he reverted to the old policy of using zeros but also gave teachers the option of offering retakes, according to the Nov. 5 e-mail. It said that individual departments would be discussing the issue as the school makes broader changes this year to its grading system. It was not clear how many teachers intended to give the option to retake tests to students who had cheated. Teachers said some departments were actively studying the issue, and others were holding off for now. At least one teacher, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, offered a retest to a student who was caught cheating last month. The shifting policies at West Potomac, in the Alexandria section of Fairfax County, have roiled parents and teachers. A group called Real World, Real Grades set up a Facebook page this week…

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Cheating vs. collaboration: Fine line for computer-science students

A recent article entitled “Why computer science students cheat” hit a raw nerve for undergraduates, software professionals, and hiring executives, Network World reports. The article discussed how more college students are caught cheating in introductory computer-science courses than in any other course on campus, thanks to automated tools that professors use to detect unauthorized code reuse and excessive collaboration. The article explored the implications of this trend for hiring managers, who are looking for ethical employees who also can function in teams. The article prompted more than 50 comments on Network World’s web site and 670 at Slashdot. The comments show IT professionals are split on the idea of whether computer-science students who work in groups to complete their homework should be punished for cheating or rewarded for collaborating. One camp said that computer-science students who collaborate on homework shouldn’t be accused of cheating because they will work in teams when they are in the workforce. Another camp, however, argued that computer-science students should do their own homework so they learn the underlying concepts and are better prepared for the workplace…

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