“A Thing Worth Having Is A Thing Worth Cheating For” W.C. Fields US Actor (1880-1946)
Who cheats?
Cheating is a primordial economic act: getting more for less.
But what about the third grader’s  teacher ?  Might she have an incentive to cheat?  And if so, how would she do it?
 
Chicago Public Schools, a system that educates 400,000 each year.
The most volatile current debate among American school administrators, teachers, parents, and students concerns “high-stak...
The federal government mandated high-stakes testing as part of the No Child Left Behind law, signed by President Bush in 2...
CPS embraced high-stakes testing in 1996 <ul><li>Low scores equal probation </li></ul><ul><li>Staff dismissed or reassigne...
Schoolchildren, of course, have had incentive to cheat for as long as there have been tests.  But high-stakes testing has ...
How might a teacher go about cheating? <ul><li>Extra time </li></ul><ul><li>Obtaining a copy of the exam early--that is, i...
But if a teacher  really  wanted to cheat-and make it worth her while-she might collect the students’ answer sheets, and i...
How might it be detected?
CPS system made available a database of the test answers <ul><li>Every CPS student from third to seventh from 1993-2000 </...
What might a cheating teacher’s classroom look like?
Consider now the answer strings from the students in two sixth grade Chicago classrooms who took the identical math test.
Who cheats?
 
Who cheats?
Did fifteen out of twenty-two students somehow manage to reel off the same six consecutive correct answers (the d-a-d-b-c-...
There are at least four reasons this is unlikely. <ul><li>Those questions, coming near the end of the test, were harder th...
<ul><li>Up to this point in the test, the fifteen students’ answers were virtually uncorrelated </li></ul><ul><li>Three of...
5.6 7.1 3.8 Student 14 4.9 6.3 3.6 Student 6 5.1 6.5 3.0 Student 3 7 th  Grade Score 6 th  Grade Score 5 th  Grade Score
What are the characteristics of a cheating teacher? <ul><li>male and female equally prone </li></ul><ul><li>Younger </li><...
 
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Cheaters

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Cheaters

  1. 1. “A Thing Worth Having Is A Thing Worth Cheating For” W.C. Fields US Actor (1880-1946)
  2. 2. Who cheats?
  3. 3. Cheating is a primordial economic act: getting more for less.
  4. 4. But what about the third grader’s teacher ? Might she have an incentive to cheat? And if so, how would she do it?
  5. 6. Chicago Public Schools, a system that educates 400,000 each year.
  6. 7. The most volatile current debate among American school administrators, teachers, parents, and students concerns “high-stakes” testing.
  7. 8. The federal government mandated high-stakes testing as part of the No Child Left Behind law, signed by President Bush in 2002.
  8. 9. CPS embraced high-stakes testing in 1996 <ul><li>Low scores equal probation </li></ul><ul><li>Staff dismissed or reassigned </li></ul><ul><li>Did away with social promotion </li></ul><ul><li>Third, sixth, & eighth grade </li></ul><ul><li>Must pass Iowa Test of Basic Skills </li></ul>
  9. 10. Schoolchildren, of course, have had incentive to cheat for as long as there have been tests. But high-stakes testing has so radically changed the incentives for teachers that they too now have added reason to cheat.
  10. 11. How might a teacher go about cheating? <ul><li>Extra time </li></ul><ul><li>Obtaining a copy of the exam early--that is, illegitimately </li></ul><ul><li>Instruct students to randomly fill in every blank </li></ul><ul><li>Alternating pattern of Bs and Cs </li></ul>
  11. 12. But if a teacher really wanted to cheat-and make it worth her while-she might collect the students’ answer sheets, and in the hour or so before turning them in to be read by an electronic scanner, erase the wrong answers and fill in correct ones.
  12. 13. How might it be detected?
  13. 14. CPS system made available a database of the test answers <ul><li>Every CPS student from third to seventh from 1993-2000 </li></ul><ul><li>30,000 students per grade per year </li></ul><ul><li>700,000 sets of test answers </li></ul><ul><li>100 million individual answers </li></ul><ul><li>Data included question-by-question answer strings </li></ul>
  14. 15. What might a cheating teacher’s classroom look like?
  15. 16. Consider now the answer strings from the students in two sixth grade Chicago classrooms who took the identical math test.
  16. 17. Who cheats?
  17. 19. Who cheats?
  18. 20. Did fifteen out of twenty-two students somehow manage to reel off the same six consecutive correct answers (the d-a-d-b-c-b string) all by themselves?
  19. 21. There are at least four reasons this is unlikely. <ul><li>Those questions, coming near the end of the test, were harder than the earlier questions </li></ul><ul><li>These were mainly subpar students to begin with, few of whom got six consecutive right answers elsewhere on the test </li></ul>
  20. 22. <ul><li>Up to this point in the test, the fifteen students’ answers were virtually uncorrelated </li></ul><ul><li>Three of the students’ (numbers 1, 9, and 12) left at least one answer blank before the suspicious string and then ended the test with another string of blanks. This suggests that a long, unbroken string of blank answers was broken not by the student buy by the teacher. </li></ul>
  21. 23. 5.6 7.1 3.8 Student 14 4.9 6.3 3.6 Student 6 5.1 6.5 3.0 Student 3 7 th Grade Score 6 th Grade Score 5 th Grade Score
  22. 24. What are the characteristics of a cheating teacher? <ul><li>male and female equally prone </li></ul><ul><li>Younger </li></ul><ul><li>Less qualified </li></ul><ul><li>More likely to cheat after incentives </li></ul>

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