Harvard University officials came forward on February 1 to announce that 60 students would be withdrawn from the school’s classes due to cheating. The announcement was the culmination of months of investigations into tests and records after an instructor had noticed signs of cheating on a take-home exam.
It was the final exam for a spring semester 2012 class called Introduction to Congress. When the results came in from the 279 enrolled students, one of the assistant professors noticed similarities in some of the answers. Thus began the process of checking the exams to determine the scope of the cheating.
Some parents criticized the university for taking so long to finalize the investigation, and to decide what disciplinary action to take. But the sheer size of the scandal rendered the investigation an extensive one.
Of the 279 students enrolled in the class, as many as 125 were found to be involved to some degree. That equates to just short of half the class lying in order to boost grades.
The scandal is stunning not only in scope, but also because of the institution where it took place. National University Rankings consistently names Harvard as the most prestigious university in the United States. The Harvard name is known worldwide, and ubiquitously equated with American ingenuity and accomplishment. Widespread cheating at a university of such renown calls into question how severe the problem is in less exalted educational facilities across the nation.
Introduction to Congress was recognized across campus as an easy class for students to take in order to boost their gpas. What does this say for the intellectual capacity of American youth today? Must students resort to cheating in order to reach the academic requirements of even a class considered to be quite easy? Trends suggest that the distractions bombarding modern society have crippled the ambition and dulled the intellect of the next generation.
But the cheating fiasco exposes a still more sobering truth: A precipitous moral decline is under way in America’s youth. If half of a class is willing to break the rules in a course on government, it’s a good indication that the generation’s moral foundation is broken.
There is a reason for the deplorable condition of the modern student. The Trumpet has long spoken about the alarming trends under way in America’s educational system. For an understanding of why mankind’s educational systems are so deeply flawed, request or download a free copy of Education With Vision. ▪