December 03, 2008
Disturbing news from our nation's classrooms: cheating is running rampant. A recent study from the Josephson Institute found that in the past year a whopping 64 percent of high school students have cheated on a test--and 38 percent had done it more than once. The news gets worse. Thirty-six percent admitted to using the internet to plagiarize an assignment while 30 percent had stolen from a store. A renaissance of the Artful Dodger? But while the adults may be squirming, students themselves are losing no sleep over their perfidious ways. Ninety-three percent reported they were "satisfied with their personal ethics and character" and 77 percent claimed they were "better than most people [they knew]" at doing "what is right." Sounds like we need to solve this dishonesty, and fast. Institute president Michael Josephson weighs in: "What we need to learn from these survey results is that our moral infrastructure is unsound and in serious need of repair. This is not a time to lament and whine but to take thoughtful, positive actions." Perhaps a hefty dose of the paternalism David Whitman found in six "No Excuses" schools is the cure for this malady.
"Survey Finds Growing Deceit Among Teens," by David Crary, Associated Press, December 1, 2008