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Piper Plagiarism Scandal

   
The article isn't extremely clear on the details. It seems to imply that it's a group project? So some students that didn't plagiarize were also being punished by association?

I'd also point out that somehow having 0 credit on this assignment was making students in danger of failing the entire semester, which seems a little off.

To play Devil's Advocate in general while I agree the theme of 'teaching kids to appeal to higher authority instead of doing the right thing' is bad form this falls under one of the things I hated most when I was in school so I can see why they did it. There is little I hold in more contempt than the high school and lower college level 'research' paper.

90% of the time these assignments were just an order to spend hours upon hours rewriting (but not copying because that would be wrong) the exact same information over and over. What exactly is this teaching kids? How to look crap up in a book? How to write 'I got this info from a book, here's the page'? If they haven't figured that out by high school you've got a bigger issue.

These sorts of papers were rarely encouraged to be original or thought provoking. They are just vessels to regurgitate tired, well trod info to fulfill some state 'words written per semester requirement' or the like.

No, no, no, it's the other way around. Those kids who did nothing are being punished by having their work worth less, because the project was downgraded in worth for a grade. From 50 to 30 percent, I think. It is not a group project. As well, all those who go to that school have been branded for plagiarism because of association because of the school's actions in hindsight of this, regardless of whether they did anything wrong. Which is terrible, especially since little can be done to undo such a reputation in hindsight.

There are too many things about this that sound dumb to me. To list a few:

- One project is worth 50% of the grade. Not a lot of room for error there....
- The students don't understand plagiarism.
- The school violated its own policy by not demanding 0s be given.
- Potential employers asking for names of students. That's pretty inappropriate (although makes a strong statement).
- Everything about the resolution here....

The school board very clearly overstepped itself here. They should ask the teacher to consider not failing a third of the class, but specifying the resolution is not very good. They also chose a very poor resolution. Maybe lessening the worth of the project would be reasonable because 50% is really quite a lot. Maybe allowing students to make it up (research paper on what plagiarism is and why it's bad) for less than full credit (up to 50%?) would be more reasonable. Not giving students who copied text a 0, as the charter dictates? Poor form.

Cheers,
Kernal

Quote:
Originally Posted by Madadh View Post
The article isn't extremely clear on the details.
I'll say:

page 1: "Mrs. Pelton, 27,"
page 2: "Mrs. Pelton, who came to Piper High in the fall of 2000 after a five-year program at the University of Kansas"

Apparently Mrs. Pelton entered the University of Kansas at age 10 and started teaching at age 15.

50% is a pretty hefty percentage of the semester's grade. One would think that the teacher would make it *very* clear to the students exactly how important it was to do it, do it well, and not to break any rules. That said, we are operating without a lot of the information we need here. We have a mechanical view of the situation, without any feel for the people involved, how things were done, the attitude of the students and so on. If, as seems likely, given the actions of the teaching staff, the students plagiarised knowingly, and had their parents appeal because they'd been caught, then the school board should suffer the consequences of their actions. Every student in that class at the school is going to suffer for the rest of their lives for that stupid decision - their grades are going to be considered worthless, not just in that subject, but all. Many others in the same year will also suffer by association, and so may all students at the school.
If there are extenuating circumstances, it would be nice to know them. If a student is given a zero grade because they provided most of the citations but not all citations, or they used phrases (but not significant quantities of material) without adequate citation, that's different. A blanket "Plagiarism means a grade of zero" rule which has no room for maneuver could have been a cause for the school board overturning the results. In which case, that rule must also be assessed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlictoatl
I'll say:

page 1: "Mrs. Pelton, 27,"
page 2: "Mrs. Pelton, who came to Piper High in the fall of 2000 after a five-year program at the University of Kansas"

Apparently Mrs. Pelton entered the University of Kansas at age 10 and started teaching at age 15.
This article was published in 2002, I only came across it due to an assignment in my college English class and believed it was worth sharing. That being said, she was 27 as of 2002.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kernal View Post
There are too many things about this that sound dumb to me. To list a few:

- One project is worth 50% of the grade. Not a lot of room for error there....
- The students don't understand plagiarism.
- The school violated its own policy by not demanding 0s be given.
- Potential employers asking for names of students. That's pretty inappropriate (although makes a strong statement).
- Everything about the resolution here....
-I had projects worth 50% of my grade in high school. It didn't destroy me.
- The district policy is to start teaching plagiarism (and how to avoid it) in 4th grade.
- Agreed
- Inappropriate, but good for making a point
- What do you mean by that?

Muggie2 - The teacher ran the students projects through an internet database, and they turned up as whole-sale copies (or close to) projects she found in the database. That's pretty blatant plagiarism.

I have heard some horror stories of the particular database that they used to compare the projects, from some fellow students at my former university.
According to them, they had some professors who used the database. Those professors also required that draft copies be submitted for large projects. The professors then submitted those draft copies to the database. When the final drafts were submitted to the professors, who then submitted them to the database, they were flagged as plagiarism on the basis of their similarity to the students' own draft copies of the same project.
It apparently took some serious finagling to get the professors involved to see, and then to admit, the error.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tedronai View Post
I have heard some horror stories of the particular database that they used to compare the projects, from some fellow students at my former university.
According to them, they had some professors who used the database. Those professors also required that draft copies be submitted for large projects. The professors then submitted those draft copies to the database. When the final drafts were submitted to the professors, who then submitted them to the database, they were flagged as plagiarism on the basis of their similarity to the students' own draft copies of the same project.
It apparently took some serious finagling to get the professors involved to see, and then to admit, the error.
Links/proof please?




 

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