Wednesday, April 20, 2011

MEQ course ripe for cheating

The Facebook chat went like this . . .

From November 4, 2010

Teacher 1: Hey, are you taking this classes? I got an A on parent trap. I'm almost done the motivation one. If you want I can forward you what I handed in. Let me know. They are due on the 30th.

Teacher 2: You would be the biggest hero in the world! I signed up late and now I'm scrambling!!!! Did I tell you I love you...

Teacher 1: I'll send it to your home email.

Teacher 2: If I could reach you...I'd kiss you! Cyber kiss and hug!

Teacher 1: Just sent the parent trap. I should be able to finish 988 by the weekend.

After a parent emailed a screen print copy of this dialog to me, I immediately forwarded it to Dr. Muenker and asked that the work submitted by these teachers for this online course be checked for possible plagiarism. Seems like a reasonable request, right? Apparently the online course provider, Learner's Edge, didn't think so because they don't keep a record of any course work submitted.

The Learner's Edge president told the Courier Times "Our instructors look at every assignment in order to catch anything that may not be considered honorable," but they don't have the mechanisms in place to catch anything at all, which is why I asked Dr. Muenker not to approve any further requests for Learner's Edge courses. Unfortunately Muenker's hands may be tied because the course program meets the requirements set by the state and is allowed under the terms of the last teachers' contract.

Once again fairness and logic are thwarted by Harrisburg and our CBA.

If you're like me, you have a great respect for people who put in the time and effort to earn an accredited masters degree. But this masters equivalency offered in our state is not a true degree, and I suspect the idea was created long ago at a time when teachers were not well paid. Things are different now. Our teachers are fairly compensated, and it's time that the MEQ program goes away. We may not be able to control what Harrisburg does, but it's certainly something we can fix in our next teachers contract.

As for these teachers who conspired to cheat, what happened to them? Nothing, because all that is proven here is an intent to defraud the system. For all we know, Teacher 2 may have decided not to plagiarize from Teacher 1. We do know is this - Teacher 2 earned MEQ credits from this Learner's Edge course, and potentially that could be worth thousands of dollars in salary and also in pension.

Kind of makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, doesn't it?

Here is a link to a Courier Times article on this matter.

No comments: