Get Paid to Cheat

Oye new top administrator wants to move the graduation rate from 60% to 90%. He told us we need to achieve this feat in a year. No suggestion about introducing admission requirements was made, which means that the plan is untenable.

In a state of panic, some subservient minds have come up with a plan. They’ll pair students who are taking a certain course with those who already passed it. Then they’ll pay those who passed to “help” the new students. Get it? Hand your tests and quizzes over to a new generation of students, and the university will pay you to do it.

This isn’t as funny though, as when the chief administrator compared out graduation rates with those of an Ivy League school and then spent the next 5 minutes repeating, “But why? Why are their graduation rates so much higher than ours? Does anybody know?”

People have been so brainwashed that I believe many of them sincerely don’t know.

22 thoughts on “Get Paid to Cheat

  1. Their plan is too sophisticated. Just fire every professor who fails more than 7% of their students in any class they teach and be done with it. It is an administrative win-win. The passing rates will go up and you will save money on the salaries of non-compliant employees. You do not even have to hire any replacements…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. ” too sophisticated”

      Yes, this type of plan doesn’t work unless the students who passed also end up taking the tests for those who won’t….

      There’s also the option of completely removing grading from faculty: Instructors hand in raw scores which are fed into a program and the top 20 % get A’s, next 30% B’s next 40 % get C’s, the next 5 % D’s and the bottom 5% fail (percentages can be massaged to achieve the desired results).

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I have no doubt that this is the next step. Students failing is caused by racism. It follows that professors who fail them are racists. They can be fired on civil rights violations.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s a logical result of kids being passed through the grades until high school graduation and going to college with barely an 8th grade reading level. Then some subset of these kids will be admitted to medical schools…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My university has been pushing tutoring centers really hard the past few years. Some of the tutoring is done by graduate student TAs and non-tenure track lecturers, but quite a bit of it is being done by undergraduate students who have taken the courses previously and earned an A or A-. I have been wondering how many of the undergrads wind up just doing homework/assignments for the students who show up for tutoring. It’s not easy for first time instructors to really help struggling students, I can’t imagine random undergrads are any better at it.

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    1. My very first job was working in the tutoring center at my college. I did not do any of the work for students, and my supervisors didn’t ever even hint at me that I should. I enjoyed the heck out of that job, though, and I taught a whole bunch of people about the proper use of semicolons, subject-verb agreement, and how to write a decent essay that doesn’t sound stilted, pretentious, or plagiarized. Doing idioms with ESL students was loads of fun, too.

      That was a long time ago, and I’m sure every college is different. But “tutoring” doesn’t automatically mean cheating.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Plus, it was a community college and most of my students were in the remedial English classes. So I was teaching them stuff the high schools failed to. I hope it’s different at a uni.

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    2. My university has a similar tutoring program, which is actually very good. There is a full time coordinator who manages the students. Each student tutor is assigned to a particular class section, attends all the lectures, and meets with the lecturer on a regular basis, where the information is exchanged about the most important things to focus on. The students organize tutorial sessions several times a week that are at a time convenient for students. As a lecturer, I found this program very useful and helpful. The key here is that there are full time employees managing the program and guiding the student tutors in what they are supposed to do.

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      1. “The key here is that there are full time employees”

        which makes it a non-starter to an austerity-crazed administrator….

        The thing with tutoring is that it works when it’s targeted and the student doesn’t need too much and mostly needs prompting to get on the right track. It’s not a way to get 20% more people graduating…

        My university had a major, major, MAJOR football program and spent vast amounts of money “tutoring” players who were mostly just not that bright and/or not that interested in the subjects they were being forced to take.
        I knew people who supported themselves working in the program and despite all the money and effort… the effects were incredibly unimpressive.

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  4. Worrying about graduation rates is using a false measure of success. This method has made a high school diploma a joke and if applied to university it will have the same effect. Credentials are being prioritized over knowledge.

    My prediction: employers will increasing ignore academic credentials and will look for proof of the ability to think critically and possession of the knowledge that the work requires.

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    1. …and what a relief that will be! When that finally, FINALLY happens, legions of decent jobs will open up to competent people who don’t have college degrees. I’m looking forward to it. US college credentials have been a very expensive gatekeeping scam for a very long time.

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      1. It’s easier and cheaper to collapse every field under the weight of its non-performers and to restart the pursuit of knowledge under different names.

        And so there will no longer be any science, mathematics, or even art behind architecture.

        But there will be unbelievable amounts of materials engineering, computational tectonics, and aesthetic structural design to replace it.

        Once those other fields collapse, these things can take the revolutionary move of “going back to essentials” by reclaiming the original names.

        Out goes the Church of Gropius, in comes the American Vitruvius.

        (That’s a big book on American architectural design from a century ago, BTW.)

        Out go the Modernist and Post-Modernist design schools, in come the New Classical Renaissance and Urban Traditional City Planning design schools.

        Thomas Kuhn gets rehabilitated into a Speaker For The Restoration.

        Rene Descartes gets pushed to the side, too Euclidean a thinker, they’ll say.

        General Semantics gets grudging admiration as the biggest hipster squares on the old block, but not for us, we’re into being hip about the hip and cool about the cool.

        Worry not except for the intellectual trash collectors who have to dispose of the mess.

        Imagine such works as render the Art of Noises as Just Plain Noises!

        (Too futurist for this blog, perhaps?) 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh, man, after two months of house-hunting, I can’t WAIT for architecture as a field to be scrapped, and forced to build things that make sense in a particular climate or that people actually want to live in. There hasn’t been any decent home construction around here since at least the 60s. Everything is hideous and dysfunctional after that: complicated rooflines that cost more than the house is worth to re-roof, idiotic slab foundations that flood with just two inches of water on the ground (in a hurricane zone! How is that even legal?), require jackhammering if you have plumbing problems, and cannot be lived in without all-year climate control here in the humid subtropics, because it’s thermal mass, and if you open the windows everything condensates and gets moldy. don’t get me started about those 60s flat roofs. I’m sure they’re great if you live in the fragging desert. What possessed anyone to build millions of them in a place where average rainfall is 80+ inches is beyond all reason.

          Forties houses were built before HVAC was standard, so they’re still livable, but they were mostly no-frills budget housing, and you have to go earlier to find anything truly beautiful and well-suited to the area: high ceilings, vented attics, broad porches, and at least two feet off the ground to allow for air circulation and not get flooded. Of course, we can’t afford any of those because they are rare and much in demand…

          I notice some of the newer builds are trying to get a little of that Seaside-style retro aesthetic going… but they lack the climate-functional features of the really old houses. They’re still basically an insulated box built for the needs of an HVAC system. It’s depressing.

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          1. I’m with you. I work on a building where not a single classroom has windows. Apparently, some genius thought it was a great idea to make people read and write all day without any natural light.

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            1. Good grief. What do people have against natural light?

              One of the cool things about being in Peru was getting to see a bunch of that modernist innovative (at least in the 60s) architecture in its proper context: the desert tropics. It’s actually quite nice in its concrete, terazzo, flat-roofed way and there are a lot of buildings that have atriums that let in tons of natural light just indirectly enough that it doesn’t heat up the place. It’s very pleasant when it’s done well. But it doesn’t translate to Florida. It’s incredibly dysfunctional stuff in this climate.

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    2. Forget thinking critically. It would be great if high school graduates knew how to attach a file to an email, write a complete sentence and use bold type and italics in MS Word. I am yet to meet a student who can concentrate enough to reproduce a short paragraph where some words are bold-typed and some are italicized. I no longer hire students as research assistants because it’s a waste of time. They can’t perform the simplest formatting tasks. Everybody is a visionary and a genius but nobody can follow a simple set of instructions.

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      1. And that’s just school. My friend who works in property management says most of them can’t even manage to fill out an employment history and supply rental references without major assistance– just calling the office and talking to a human person to get things sorted out is too much for many of them– they think everything should be solvable by chatbox. They are failing at the real world, too.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yep. The over-credentialing is, to a large degree, a response to the failures of the K-12 education system. Many people reach adulthood without knowing how to function in the adult world. I’d prefer not to teach these basic skills in college but on a practical level, nobody else is doing it.

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          1. To be fair, though, my parents were crap about that as well, and I left home not knowing how to cook, clean, and a bunch of other fairly essential things (how to make a professional-sounding phone call..), but I was able to crash-course most of it. I checked out cookbooks from the library and experimented my way through them. I bought a book on basic housekeeping and read it cover to cover, more than once. I asked the older people in my life how to do stuff, when I encountered something I didn’t know how to manage. I had older siblings to advise on these things. I managed.

            I feel like the current crop of young adults is oddly…. there’s a disturbing lack of resourcefulness. I don’t know where that comes from. Is it just what happens when you’ve always had 24/7 internet access and never had to actually learn/remember anything?

            Liked by 1 person

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