How Could a Sweet Third-Grader Just Cheat on That School Exam? →

Shellenbarger from WSJ:

When Ms. Avant asked her daughter that evening why she cheated, Kaci said s he was afraid her mom would be angry over a bad grade. “When she said that, I thought, ‘Wow, maybe I need to check myself,’” Ms. Avant says.

Ugh. Of course kids cheat to get better grades. So sad. Grades make learning have winners and losers. No one wants to be a loser.

“To say that kids who cheat will get caught and they will be punished‚Äîand they will not gain by cheating‚Äîisn’t true anymore,” she says… Her sons shot down that argument in elementary school, telling her they’d seen other students cheat without getting caught.

It worked better, she said, to tell her kids, “Cheating flies in the face of the values of our family and the rules of the school.” She told them they’d be letting her down if they cheated, and she wouldn’t defend them.

I love this advice as a parent and as a teacher.

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The Best Case Scenario

The best case scenario is not that everyone passes the test. It’s that everyone learns what they need to learn.

After almost eight years in a classroom, I’m convinced that these two can be very different things.

I can help kids understand the craft of writing, or I can help them figure out how to do better on a multiple choice writing test. I’m not sure I can do both simultaneously. But with time constraints and pressure looming, I’m going to have to find a way.

I wonder if the company who makes the test can send sell me some materials to help my students pass?

These words from a teammate’s email sum it up nicely:

I cringe and struggle with what I know is best, and what I know is expected.

What a serious conundrum.