Are teachers justified in cheating? This article in the L.A. Times seems to be tinted with a subtext that says, “Okay, we cheat but really, they are forcing us to do so which means that, well… it’s there fault, not ours.”
Not sure that I buy that.
Sure, the standardized testing pressures are unfair and oppressive. And yes, the bubble tests are being used by clowns to make sweeping generalizations that are tragic in their shortcomings and egregious in their mis-information but still, rationalizing cheating?
Boycott the bubble tests. Protest. Stage a revolution and get every teacher on campus to RESIST! But cheat? It just submarines any potential credibility an educator can one day have in standing up as a force for good in fighting this maniacal bubble-test nonsense. Active resistance is much more sensible than passive/aggressive protest, particularly when the means of being passive/aggressive are molded by the stench of moral convenience.
Teachers as cheaters open up the whole, “Two wrongs don’t make a right,” faucet – and I am not sure there is ever a win to be had by traveling down that road. It also opens up the question of what kind of role models are we rolling out for our kids if the teachers feel that cheating on the tests is the only way to get what it is they want from a situation. I mean, why shouldn’t the kids take this same road for the Pop Quiz in period 2? (i.e. They don’t like the teacher’s assessment system and feel legitimized in turning to deception in order to 1) make their point and 2) get what it is that they want from the situation. What classroom teacher ever buys that from a kid who gets busted cheating on a test?)
Sure, teachers are going to cheat on these tests and yes, the high-stakes pressure is certainly a reason for why this will happen more and more going forward. But when you irrationally turn the screws on folks, people respond in kooky, irrational ways. That’s on them. However, do us all a favor, Teach: if you do get busted, at least buck and and own the consequences. Just say, “Yep, I cheated and yep, you caught me. I did the crime and now I must do the time.” Really, don’t try to justify your actions… it rings hollow and taints every other educator in the land.
No matter how you slice it, when a teacher cheats, the bad guys win.