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What’s the Point of Good Grades? The Case for Reconsidered Cheating Policies

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Nov 05, 2021 | 0 Comments

For decades, we have lauded students for their high test scores and good grades. An A+ has traditionally been seen as an objective measure of hard work completed and learning accomplished.

It's becoming clearer that this isn't precisely the case. More and more students are resorting to academic dishonesty in order to meet the sky-high expectations of stellar grades. It's impossible for schools to catch and discipline every single student who cheats, leaving many to wonder whether the entire “good grades” system is getting distorted.

Modern Cheating is On the Rise-Will Sterner Cheating Policies Help?

Cases of academic misconduct have been steadily rising for a long time. 2020's rapid shift to online learning, coupled with the stresses of a worldwide pandemic and sudden academic instability, caused cheating to skyrocket.

While it's easy to point to external stressors as the culprit or suggest that students themselves are becoming more dishonest, there are those who believe it may be time to reassess our entire grading system. Our laser focus on grades may have inadvertently taught our students that the goal of learning isn't true comprehension. Instead, we've made it clear that the end goal is the letter grade—a goal clearly achievable through easier means than actually studying.

As one psychology professor put it, “grades obsession can lead to cheating.” (This isn't a new idea: almost twenty years ago, experts at Stanford said the same thing.)

In a way, this should make sense. As GPA standards rise, as access to school becomes more difficult, students increasingly see themselves in an impossible situation. They feel the deck is stacked against them. In a highly pressurized, inherently unfair situation, they don't act reasonably. They find an easy way out.

By making high grades the end-all be-all measurement for student success, we incentivize cheating. It's logical, and, in a way, it's odd that we're so appalled by it. When traditional tests are so easy to crack, too, isn't it time that we thought about another way of assessing authentic learning?

We do know one thing for sure: Even if change is truly needed, it will be a long time before we usher in any type of new academic paradigm. At least for now, students will need a good defense if they receive allegations of academic dishonesty.

In the Meantime, Rely on the Lento Law Firm if You're Accused of Cheating

Whether the current grading system is fair or not, the stigma and consequences associated with academic dishonesty can make your academic experience (and entire future) much harder than it needs to be.

If you are in a situation where you need to negotiate sanctions for cheating or navigate your school's disciplinary system successfully, you need representation. Attorney Joseph D. Lento is a national student defense advisor who can help you protect your name and your future and even assist with other types of academic issues and concerns. Attorney Lento and his team at the Lento Law Firm have helped hundreds of students across the United States overcome academic misconduct, academic dishonesty, and academic integrity charges - alleged "cheating" in simpler terms - and they can do the same for you. Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 for more information.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients nationwide. Mr. Lento represents students and others in disciplinary cases and other proceedings at colleges and universities across the United States. Mr. Lento has helped countless students, professors, and others in academia at more than a thousand colleges and universities across the United States, and when necessary, he has sought justice on behalf of clients in courts across the nation. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide, and he can help you or your student address school-related issues and concerns anywhere in the United States.

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