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Thompson: Are Testing -- And Cheating -- The New Normal?

Testing Joy Resmovits of the Huffington Post summarizes a seemingly arcane debate about the causes of cheating on standardized tests in which consultant Gregory Cizek predicts that as schools get used to being measured, "cheating will normalize and decline."  But behavioral economist Dan Ariely argues that "Cheating begets cheating. Once you cheat in some way, the next act of cheating is easier. We're not dealing with separate instances of cheating but we're dealing with things that have accumulated."  Given the spike of cheating after 10 to 15 years of high-stakes testing, the evidence seems to support Ariely.  The saddest thing, however, would be for this bubble-in craze to be seen as "normal."- JT (@drjohnthompson)Image via.

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Good points, John. Like you, I side with Ariely. Cheating does beget cheating. How we have such widespread cheating so far is that in some districts it was treated by some administrators and a critical mass of their teachers as though it was just another way of doing "business".

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