Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Causes and Effects of Cheating in America

Here is an article that describes how the family's failure to instill a strong moral compass (and even corrupting the moral compass of some children) is leading to costly short- and long-term economic consequences. It reports a case where several students were found to buy "ringers" to take entrance exams for them so as to get into colleges where they would otherwise be unable to gain entrance. A troubling statement in the article is: "Parents – who presumably foot the bill for hiring these ringers – feel tremendous pressure to give their children the best odds they can for gaining admission to Ivy League schools, where success would mean better prospects for future careers." Assuming parents are supporting or at least not preventing this sort of behavior, the family is truly failing in this case. The least of the consequences from such a situation are described in the article as follows:
Thanks to this case, ACT and SAT testing will be more expensive for everyone – including high schools, which will now be burdened by extra costs. The DA in this case has successfully pressured the College Board (SAT) and ACT Inc. to implement a two-level system for photo identification for testing. All students will have to submit a picture when they sign up for the test, and then produce a photo ID that matches the registration photo printed on their admission ticket. When the companies score the tests, the results will get sent to the high schools along with the picture of the person who took the test, so that the schools can check to see if any fraud occurred. All of this will impact the costs of the tests – and make admission more secure than voting in most political elections, too. Instead of instilling a personal sense of honor and strict consequences for cheating, we end up insisting on massive and expensive interventions to deter it. 
Unfortunately, the bigger costs will come when widespread cheating causes incompetent students to get into schools and drives down educational standards. Then, engineers, doctors, teachers, attorneys, business people and others who are incompetent will get into their professions and perform poorly. In the meantime, countries such as China, Chile and India will be turning out people that cheaters can't compete with.

Time to strengthen traditional homes and families and restore the foundation that made America the greatest nation in history...


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Your point is quite valid. But as for the consequences, I think you're painting the picture with too much black.

    There are many incompetent and competent engineers, doctors, teachers and they didn't need any help to get into some of the lesser universities and probably even Harvard (which, I suspect, has been trading far too long on its reputation, but maybe I'm just envious). And yet the economy chugs along quite happily ... well, happy-ish.

    Two points are worth noting:
    Many of the clods working on Wall Street no doubt came from the Ivy schools. Look how well things turned out not through lack of skill, but greed and arrogance.

    In my career as an engineer, I've met some prodigiously incompetent Chinese engineers. Given the huge language barrier, I can understand the difficulties. But that won't comfort me as the 777 comes out of the sky.

  3. I think it's difficult for decent people to fully comprehend the nature and impact that immoral people can have on a society. Identifying causes and effects of break-downs resulting from immortality is a challenging first step in dealing with these issues especially as these "cheaters" develop their skill and seek to increase their influence in order to "get gain". Cheating on the ACT/SAT is a problem in embryo... what do we do when these "cheaters" start writing government policies and regulations?