Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Marsha Sutton exposes cheating students, but keeps mum on interesting antics at SDCOE

Below is an interesting story by Marsha Sutton. I'd like to ask Martha: why are you reluctant to expose dishonesty among adults in schools? Don't you think there might be a connection between the behavior of kids and the behavior of their role models? Years ago I asked you to look at what was going on at SDCOE. You ran a big story that appeared to account for SDCOE's entire budget, but you left out legal expenses and liability insurance. Haven't you been apathetic regarding the moral lapses of officials at SDCOE and in the schools?

Marsha Sutton: Scandal exposes district problem
San Diego News Network
By Marsha Sutton, SDNN
May 26, 2009

I don’t know which is worse - the fact that dozens of kids were caught cheating at Canyon Crest Academy or the apathetic way parents and administrators regard the moral lapse.

Under pressure to bury the story, which was brought to my attention because of the wide scope of the sordid affair, I’ve had to sort out what it is about this issue that’s causing so many people to exhibit a jaded attitude tinged with resentment at my inquiries.

[Maura Larkins: It appears that you weren't under as much pressure to bury this story as to bury the SDCOE JPA story and the school legal fees and liability insurance story.]

“What’s the big deal?” is the most common refrain I’ve heard. “It goes on everywhere.” “Why are you picking on our school?” “What are you trying to prove?” “It doesn’t help to write about bad news.”

Well, golly. I was under the impression that journalism’s job was to expose corruption (and cheating certainly falls into that category, by my lights), hold government agencies accountable, inform the public, and increase awareness of trends and concerns.

[Maura Larkins comment: Your impression was correct. May we expect a story on Diane Crosier? And all the money taxpayers pay to help school officials cover up wrongdoing?]

A single incident of cheating involving 50 to 60 kids at one of San Diego County’s highest performing high schools is news, but bigger news is that apparently many feel it’s not news at all...

Once, this was just a story about a single incident. But it has broader implications. How is it that cheating is now so common that many consider it “no big deal?” And why are so many people not just puzzled, but perturbed, that this is being aired publicly?

[Maura Larkins' comment: Maybe the kids saw the adults getting away with it, and figured that's how business is done nowadays. And they're right, Marsha, aren't they?]

...Cheating by students - almost all of them juniors and seniors - was discovered in CCA’s two Advanced Placement psychology classes. Combined enrollment for the two classes exceeds 80 students, more than half of whom have been charged with a form of cheating....

There were those students who were said to have cheated on homework assignments and those who cheated on tests - an important distinction that appears not to matter when applying consequences...

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