School Board Association: Cheaters Can Be Valedictorians
Plus, Augusta University basketball gets sanctions for academic misconduct. Plus, new cheating scandal in China.
To subscribe to “The Cheat Sheet,” just enter your e-mail address below:
To share “The Cheat Sheet:”
Thanks for sharing “The Cheat Sheet.” If you enjoy or support my work, please consider chipping in via Patreon:
Texas School Board Association: Let Cheaters Keep Valedictory and Other Titles
The Texas Association of School Boards recently advised its members that they - Texas School Boards - should let students who engage in misconduct keep graduation honors such as being a class “valedictorian.”
TASB Policy Service does not recommend disqualifying a valedictorian or salutatorian because of misconduct
The reason is pretty simple - they think doing so may invite litigation:
Because academic honors often entitle students to scholarships, a student who is denied an honors position for reasons unrelated to academic performance might claim monetary damages and file a grievance or even a lawsuit.
Instead, they suggest denying the student a chance to speak at graduation. Though they caution that this too may present legal issues and, they say, could only happen if the student in question engages in:
any misconduct in violation of the district’s code resulting in an out-of-school suspension … or expulsion during the semester immediately preceding graduation.
So, they’d maybe really only lose the chance to give a speech if the misconduct resulted in an out-of-school suspension and it happened during the single semester before graduation.
Instead, they say school boards should punish academic dishonesty with grade penalties:
A student who receives a grade penalty for academic dishonesty may drop out of the competition for valedictorian or salutatorian altogether based on class rank alone.
They may. But, you know, maybe not.
But my favorite part of this policy guidance is where the Texas School Board Association says:
Class rank is based on academic achievement measured by students’ weighted grade point averages or weighted numerical averages. Misconduct does not impact the calculation of class rank.
I’m sorry - did the Texas School Board Association just say that misconduct such as cheating does not impact grade point averages? Maybe that’s not what they meant.
Still, wow. That’s three.
Augusta University Basketball Sanctioned for Academic Misconduct
Augusta University, part of the public college system in Georgia, was recently sanctioned by the NCAA for academic misconduct in their basketball program. The program has been fined, forfeits wins and records and will see cuts to future scholarships and practice sessions, plus other sanctions.
The NCAA found, for example, that despite the availability of academic supports and tutors, coaches helped students cheat. This help, the NCAA says, included:
the head coach editing and adding content to a paper the student-athlete wrote for an English class
during a virtually proctored exam, the academic coordinator/instructor observed the former assistant coach sitting with the student-athlete as he was taking the exam. The video also showed the student-athlete submitting answers without his hands on the keyboard and impermissibly using his phone during the exam
The test misconduct was caught when the professor viewed the recorded session provided by the exam proctoring provider. I bet the NCAA is happy they had a recording to review and, in this case, confirm.
It’s not that I celebrate punishments or penalties, but I do like to see that cheating has consequences now and again. For this, I am glad there is an NCAA. I just wish that accreditors cared half as much about academic misconduct as the NCAA does.
A University Dean in China Plagiarized, Stripped of Degree
News from The South China Morning Post that a Dean at a Chinese University faces serious consequences for plagiarism.
from the Kunming Railway Vocational and Technical College in Yunnan province, southwestern China, was stripped of her degree after an investigation found at least one-quarter of her master’s dissertation was stolen from research papers published by other academics
The person who turned the Dean in told the paper that this case:
is not the only fraudulent academic at the university and said plagiarism is rife, but said management turned a blind eye to the problem