Learning The Wrong Lesson - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

From Anchor Tony McEwing

Learning The Wrong Lesson

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There's an old saying: "cheaters never prosper." It's a nice concept as far as such sayings go. Unfortunately, all too often, it's just not true. In fact, it tends only to be the case if and when the cheater is caught. Indeed the only time we usually hear about people who cheat is after they're found out. That brings me to the particularly disturbing story that more than two dozen California schools, some of them in the Los Angeles area, are under investigation for cheating or other misconduct or mistakes on standardized tests.

In all, 27 California schools have been stripped of their scores on the state's Academic Performance Index. That's up from 23 last year. Those schools include five campuses in Los Angeles County. It's a big deal. Not just because it's wrong but because losing ratings can cause a school to miss required performance targets. And that could result in a loss of funding or even the wholesale removal of administrators and faculty.

To be fair, the overwhelming majority of schools plays by the rules. And the few that don't typically involve one renegade teacher acting alone. Nevertheless, when something like this happens, even in just a handful of places, it tends to give a black eye to the others who are laboring honestly. And perhaps the worst part of this kind of behavior is the lesson it teaches our kids: if you feel you can't compete fairly, cheat. It's an absolutely horrible lesson for our children to learn. Whether it's professional sports or a simple board game, cheating should not be tolerated. Ethical conduct should not only be encouraged and expected but demanded.

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