One thing most of us learn while in school is that cheating on tests and homework is wrong, but is there ever an exception to that rule?
A report from a Philadelphia Public School blog, The Notebook, reveals the confession of an English teacher from Philadelphia who says she helped her inner city high school students cheat on state standardized tests in order to boost their self-esteem levels.
If one of her students asked her for help during a test she would not deny them. Instead, she admits to repeatedly walking them through the problem until they knew the answer and sometimes even pointed to the correct answer when she felt the question was too difficult.
Even if the teacher’s actions helped make her students feel better about themselves, most of us would disagree with the way she went about it. A recent SheSpeaks poll finds that more than 94% of us feel it is never okay for a teacher to help a student cheat on a test.
The teacher, who spoke to the blog’s reporter anonymously, believes what she did was wrong but does not feel guilty about it. She takes issue with the way schools put so much focus on the exams by threatening and intimidating teachers that if scores are not high enough they will lose their jobs.
She also feels students suffer from the focus on state exams explaining, “A lot of people understand how these tests deprive [students] of a real education. But I also think that there’s a whole self-esteem side that people aren’t talking about.”
The teacher insists she helped kids cheat out of a strong sense of loyalty she felt for them, but claims many of her colleagues at the high school she taught at helped their students cheat because they were afraid of losing their jobs if they couldn’t bring scores up.
Many teachers across the country are feeling similar pressure of losing their jobs or not receiving raises if their students don’t succeed on state exams. A recent report from CNN discusses the Georgia Governor’s office that found 178 teachers and principals in 44 Atlanta public schools involved in either helping students cheat or physically changing wrong answers to correct ones while grading.
What do you think of the way our school system tends to put pressure on teachers regarding state standardized test scores?
Do you think there’s ever an acceptable reason for a teacher to help a student cheat on a test?