The news here in NY just reported that students taking the SAT’s this weekend out on Long Island have to have their admission ticket AND a photo ID– a result of the big cheating scandal at the SAT’s last year. This follows the more recent cheating scandal at the prestigious Stuyvesant High School in NYC. So the New York Times blog asks “Why Some Students Believe They Have to Cheat“. Good question.
Surveys show that between 80 and 90 percent of students admit to cheating at some point during the school year. It has been suggested that we (parents) are teaching our children to cheat. Teaching them that getting what they want is all important. Teaching them that it’s OK to game the system.
“The System” is also sending messages to our kids– as described by the Stuyvesant High School kids. And the message is that it’s all a numbers game. And if it’s a game, it’s not to be taken all that seriously, so manipulating the system becomes OK.
If the message our kids are getting is that cheating is OK, it’s clearly up to parents to send a very different message. With up to 90% of kids admitting to cheating of some kind, every parent needs to help their kids see the alternative. It was well put in the NYTimes blog: “Why not cheat? Because integrity is important. Because unearned success is not true success. Because you don’t have to. Because our family finds its values outside the numbers.”