American Education – A Cheat?

Outsourcing is a dirty little word among many Americans. When companies use cheap labor overseas to make products or perform services it often means those jobs are lost in the United States.

Next up on the outsourcing list? Take a deep breath and read on. America is outsourcing its brains.

According to the Center for Academic Integrity, in the last school year nearly a third of the faculty at its 360 college and high school member institutions reported students downloading term papers, reports or essays written by someone else from online sites known as paper mills.

We counted more than 250 sites selling papers online, so CNN’S Carol Costello went online to buy a term paper from one of them. She asked for a “Premium Quality” paper on Jayson Blair, the former reporter fired by the New York Times for making up stories. Three, double-spaced pages with 5 references (the references added to the cost), totaled $80.97.

The company said it would take a few days.

Watch: Students outsource homework

Costello talked to one writer from an Asian country, who wished to remain anonymous. He says, based on his experience, more than 90% of online term paper buying comes from the United States. “There’s a huge demand for academic papers in the United States,” he told her. “It’s unethical, but you know I come from a Third World country. It’s good pay. The temptation was really great.”

Much of the time it’s an English speaking writer from another country who is writing those term papers. DomainTools tracks Internet traffic to Web sites by nation. Essaywriters.net is one of the most established sites soliciting writers to write these papers. DomainTools says most of the visitors to essaywriters.net are non-Americans.

You can read more of the article here. I don’t blame ANYONE that works for those companies and continues to write papers for people that pay for them!

So the biggest question remains: how to fix this? Well here are few of MY suggestions:

1. Teachers need understand that with classic literary works and assignments (Charles Dickens, Nacht etc..) that they have to be creative in what the assignment is. I mean seriously, how many different ways can one make a book report on Willi Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Be creative and extrapolate different items from that work and tie into a skill needed for todays world.

2. Make the students simply write IN class – duh! If it were me, I would make my writing assignments short (to fit in a 45 minute block) and make the topic at the start of class – boom! Besides, what is the true point and relevance in making student write long papers and essays anyway? Its not needed into days world

3. Again I think teachers need to stop being lazy and be more creative with lessons – PERIOD. Stop blaming other and third world countries.

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3 thoughts on “American Education – A Cheat?

  1. I think the bigger question is why are we so lazy that we chose to cheat?
    I am currently in college. Last semester I took American History. It is a basic history class, nothing hard about it. We knew week one that our final would be open notes and we would have a term paper due the last week also. I had thirteen guys in my class offer to pay me to get a copy of my notes or write their paper for them. This class wasn’t that hard, but the teacher made it almost impossible to pass the class. The questions on the tests were loaded. Most of them would serve no purpose in today’s world. In most classes we simply read the chapter, word for word, out of the book and then watched a video. It was absolutely boring. The teacher lacked inspiration and motivation. He graded our term papers while we were taking the final. 25 papers, over 5 pages long, in less than three hours. I love to learn. I wanted this teacher to TEACH me something. I can watch videos and read the book at home. I think we have some very good teachers out there. I enjoyed and learned from 6 out of my 7 teachers last semester. But that 1 that didn’t want to teach really stands out in my mind.
    We are lazy because we are an uninspired nation. We are waiting for great leaders, mentors, role models. But far to often, people are too busy to become active participants in others lives. We get comfortable in our little bubble. We don’t want to risk reaching out. We don’t want to get used or hurt. We have quit taking risks. We have become complacent. I challenge you to take e step to become involved in someone else’s life. Become a mentor. Become involved.

  2. I didn’t realize how huge of a trend it is (or becoming) to pay someone to write a paper for you! I’ve never experienced this in my past, never saw it taking place or have been asked to write for someone else. I don’t want to turn the issue into a national, ethnic or racial one, but interesting point about non-Americans as the authors of these papers! I’m taking a huge risk by making such a generalization, but I think it’s an honest one. Look at the framework for education in other countries such as Japan and Cuba. Then look at our system: Both primary/secondary and higher ed! The inspired, fresh, out-of-the-box teachers and professors have been the minority. But I will say this: A paradigm shift is occurring. I am hearing and seeing educators everywhere realize a change needs to occur, and I hear and see them taking the initiative. I was fortunate to have an undergraduate experience that was rejuvenating and challenging, and it pushed me to become a part of the movement. Especially in the grade school setting, this change is occurring at the speed of light. I hear of new schools opening often; charters that are beyond the realm of creativity and boast strong and complete curricula for today’s student. Even the ones that aren’t successful are being challenged by others to improve or cease to exist. We don’t have time for mediocrity. Our nation is far behind the trend. Rote and mundane education is a thing of the past. We need skills for this lifetime, for what’s taking place today. Many are realizing that our time has arrived… Laziness, ignorance, complacency, and closed minds are not going to be the trend for much longer. There won’t be a need…

  3. This is a very interesting issue.

    I was reading an article a while back that maintained that according to a report by the Office for Student Conduct at the University of Southern California, although international students comprised approximately 10% of the student population, they represented about 47% of the students who had been accused of academic dishonesty. It is believed that because English is not their first language and high parental standards were the cause of this trend. In fact, USC statistics reported that overall cheating among all students (American and International) had increased dramatically.

    Looking at the big picture, it appears that many students are facing some of the same challenges and pressures to succeed in very competitive environments.

    Could it be the spiritual environment that is creating this? Do we need to reevaluate our values as a society so people do not feel worthless if they are not in the top of their class? What changes need to be made at institutions of higher education that will benefit ALL students?

    ~C

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data, ability to repeat discredited memes, and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Also, be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor even implied. Any irrelevancies you can mention will also be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous :)

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