Students always find new ways to obtain answers for tests.

Students always find new ways to obtain answers for tests.

Jake Gerenraich, 5th member of the Jamaican Bobsled team

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“Can you give me the answers?” This common phrase rings throughout the halls of just about every high school in America. From a young age, we are all taught not to lie or cheat, all work we submit should be our own and an honest representation of our knowledge. Is it a lack of a moral code within developing teens, stress about long term goals? What causes students to violate one of the first things they are taught as youngsters? Is it really such a problem?

At Whitney Young, we supposedly live by the code of academic integrity, however, from seventh graders to seniors, stories of smartwatches, water bottles with answers written on the inside, test banks, and collusion seem ample in supply. Xander Struyk ‘19 says, “So many people cheat. It’s ridiculous for someone to delude themselves into thinking that all high school students will refrain from cheating. I know loads of people that even boast about having cheated on a test, finding some sneaky way to obtain the answers.” What pushes these people to cheat? Well, cheating is an easy solution to a challenging problem: getting good grades. It allows people to procrastinate, and solve the issue of their upcoming test in the moment, without learning the material. A student who wishes to remain anonymous said, “When I cheat, it’s typically on stuff I find challenging. I think it’s probably easy for people to view cheating as lazy, but sometimes I really just don’t understand the content.” Students are not willing to forgo good grades for academic integrity, since everything counts when applying to college. But the principle of an education system is to educate, and high preference for perfect grades provides an incentive to cheat. Daniel Moderhack ‘20 says, “If you think about it, the high frequency of tests in high school almost asks for kids to try and find loopholes. I think with eight classes, it takes eight teachers to reasonably detach their class from the grade portal if we want a better system.” The common reference of Swedish education systems banning homework sparks hope in the eyes of students, all trying to catch a break from the work. Hopefully, students can do just that during this holiday break (unless you’re a senior who needs to apply to six more schools regular decision).


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