Recently, there was a cheating scandal on the chapter seven test in the Math 8A classes. Math 8A students might not sound like the type of kids to cheat, but according to Mrs. DeBritton, Stacey Middle School’s principal, “Usually the really smart kids [cheat].”
The reason she gave for why the honors kids usually cheat is due to “the pressure to get good grades by their parents or themselves”
Also, Mrs. DeBritton remarked that “Cheating comes from someone who doesn’t feel secure in their learning . . .”
Honors kids feel like they have to live up to the expectations of getting perfect grades while they are in the more difficult classes, like the Math 8A class.
Math 8A is basically an advanced math class. The teacher goes over topics faster and, depending on the topic, more in-depth than a normal class would. The class also includes some topics in Algebra One.
At the end of the class, the student will take a geometry placement test that covers most of Algebra One and past geometry topics.
If students do not maintain a passing grade by the time report cards or progress reports come along, they will have to have a meeting with the teacher and their parents to discuss if the student should get moved to a class that better suits them.
Because of that, students feel like they must get a very good grade in the class so they won’t have to get moved out. The pressure can be very hard and nerve-wracking– So nerve-wracking that some students decided to cheat. “[Students] usually cheat on tests or copy each other’s homework, but homework isn’t worth very many points in a class, so it’s more assessments,” stated Mrs. DeBritton.
That’s what happened on February 16th. There was a scandal on the Math 8A Chapter 7 test. A student from the Mrs. Janssen Math 8A period 3-4 class wrote the questions down to the test, then gave them to someone in Mrs. Phan’s period 7-8 class who would be taking the same test in period 7-8. The student from Phan’s Math 8A class solved the question and wrote down the answers before taking the test, so they had the answers. The class didn’t finish their test before school ended, so Mrs. Phan said they could have more time on Monday.
After school, Mrs. Phan saw the paper inside the desk and figured out that some students in the class cheated. The students that cheated had already sent the answers to a group chat on Instagram that was meant for homework help. All students in that chat were considered suspects even though some didn’t know the answers had been sent because they had the chat muted.
Eventually, the people who actually did the cheating were found, and the innocent people no longer were suspects, but both classes had to retake the test because Mrs. DeBritton didn’t know who else might have gotten the answers, and the cheaters got a zero on the new test no matter how well they did.
Some students were outraged that they had to take the test yet again, even though they did nothing wrong. Some also said that they feel like they did better on the first Chapter 7 test rather than the second test.
All in all, the situation was “. . . more disappointing than bad because it was kids who are very smart and felt pressured to perform at a certain level,” according to Mrs. DeBritton. The whole thing was a learning experience, and Mrs. DeBritton does not think the kids will cheat again.