Ever thought about cheating on a test? Of course not. But some students are not quite so honest …
Honesty: Is It Going Out of Style?
According to a recent poll, 61 percent of American high school students have admitted to cheating on exams at least once. It can be argued such a response my not mean much. After all, most students have been faced with the temptation to peek at a neighbor's test paper. And students can be hard on themselves in judging such behavior. However, there are other indications that high school cheating may be on the rise.
More and more states are requiring students to pass competency tests in order to receive their high school diplomas. And many educators fear that an increase in the use of state exams will lead to a corresponding rise in cheating. A case in point is students in New York State who faced criminal misdemeanor charges for possessing and selling advance copies of state Regents examinations.
Cheating is considered to be a major problem in colleges and universities. Several professors say they've dropped the traditional term paper requirement because many students buy prewritten term papers, and they can't track down all the cheaters anymore.
Colleges and universities across the nation have decided to do more than talk about the rise in student cheating. For instance, the Department of Psychology at the University of Maryland launched a campaign to stop one form of cheating. As 409 students filed out of their exam, they found all but one exit blocked. Proctors asked each student to produce an ID card with an attached photo. Students who said they'd left theirs in the dorm or at home had a mug shot taken. The purpose of the campaign was to catch "ringers," students who take tests for other students.
The majority of students at the University of Maryland applauded the campaign. The campus newspaper editorial said, "Like police arresting speeders, the intent is not to catch everyone but rather to catch enough to spread the word."
We frequently hear about "the good old days", when Americans were better, happier, and more honest. But were they more honest? Maybe yes, a long time ago when life was very different from what it is today.
School children used to know the story of how Abraham Lincoln walked five miles to return a penny he'd overcharged a customer. It's the kind of story we think of as myth. But in the case of Lincoln, the story is true … unlike the story of George Washington and the cherry tree. Washington's first biographer invented the tale of little George saying to his father, "I cannot tell a lie. I did it with my ax." What is important in both stories, however, is that honesty was seen as an important part of the American character.
And these are just two stories out of many. Students in the last century usually didn't read "fun" stories. They read stories that taught moral values. Such stories pointed out quite clearly that children who lied, cheated, or stole came to bad ends.
Parents may have further reinforced those values. It's difficult to know. We do know that children didn't hear their parents talk of cheating the government on income taxes - there weren't any.
A clue as to why Americans may have been more honest in the past lies in the Abe Lincoln story. Lincoln knew his customer. They both lived in a small town. Would a check-out person at a large supermarket return money a customer? It's less likely. On the other hand, would overnight guests at an inn run by a husband and wife, steal towels? It's less likely.
Perhaps this tells us that people need to know one another to be at their honest best.
The vast majority of Americans still believe that honesty as an important part of the American Character. For that reason, there are numerous watch-dog committees at all levels of society. Although signs of dishonesty in school, business, and government seem much more numerous in recent years than in the past, could it be that we are getting better at revealing such dishonesty?
There is some evidence that dishonesty may ebb and flow. When times are hard, incidents of theft and cheating usually go up. And when times get better such incidents tend to go down.
Cheating in school also tends to ebb and flow. But it doesn't seem linked to the economy.
Many educators feel that as students gain confidence in themselves and their abilities, they are less likely to cheat. Surprisingly, some efforts to prevent cheating may actually encourage cheating - a person may feel "they don't trust me anyway," and be tempted to "beat the system." Distrust can be contagious. But, so can trust!
n. freedom from deceit, cheating, etc. 诚实
n. fashion 时髦
n. survey of public opinion by putting questions to a representative selection of persons 民意测验
v. state or agree to the truth of; confess 承认，供认
n. the act of tempting or being tempted 引诱；诱惑
vi. look (at sth.) quickly, esp. when one should not 偷看
n. way of behaving 行为
n. sign or suggestion 迹象
n. ability; being competent 能力；胜任
n. official paper showing that a person has successfully finished a course of study or passed an examination 文凭
a. matching 相应的
a. of crime
n. crime that is less serious than, for example, stealing of murder 轻罪
n. accusation 指控
n. have, own 占有，拥有
a. made available before the date of general publication or release 预先的
n. member of a governing board （学校董事会的）董事
vt. give up; discontinue 放弃；革除
a. of or according to tradition 传统的
n. sth. required; sth. demanded as a condition 要求；必要条件
a. written beforehand; written in advance
n. science of the mind 心理学
vt. start, set going 发起；发动
n. series of planned activities for some special purpose 运动
vi. march or move in a line 排成纵队行进
n. way out of a place 出口（处）
n. identity card 身份证
n. (short for) dormitory 宿舍
n. the face or mouth
n. a single photograph
n. (sl.) photograph of a person's face, used for purposes of identification 面部照片
n. any person who pretends to be another 冒名顶替者
vt. praise esp. by striking one's hands to gether 拍手称赞
n. university; the grounds of a university, college, or school 大学；校园
n. leading article 社论
vt. seize (sb.) in the name of the law 逮捕
n. person who drives an automobile at a higher speed than is lawful 违法超速驾驶者
n. purpose; intention
ad. at short intervals, often 频繁地
vt. charge too much 对...要价太高
n. person who buys goods from a shop, esp. regularly 顾客
prep. not like, different from
n. person who writes about another person's life 传记作家
n. mental or moral qualities that make one person, race, etc. different from others 性格，品质
a. concerning principles of right of wrong 道德的
vt. encourage of strengthen 加强
n. sth. that helps to find an answer to a question 线索
n. desk where one pays the bill of the goods one has chosen 结帐处
n. large shop where one serves oneself with food and goods 超级市场
a. for or during the night 住一夜的；一整夜的
n. small hotel 小旅馆，客栈
a. very big
a. organized or acting as a watchful guardian, esp. against unlawful practice 起监督作用的
n. the quality of being dishonest
vt. make known 揭露
n. sign or proof 证据
vi. (of the tide) flow back from the land to the sea; grow less; become weak or faint 落潮；低落，衰退
vi. (of the tide) come in; rise; run or spread smoothly （潮）涨；上升；流
n. event; happening 事件
n. (the act of, an instance of) stealing
vi. have a tendency 易于，往往会
vt. join or connect 连接；联系
ad. at all; in any case 究竟；无论如何
vt. attract (sb.) to do sth. wrong or foolish 引诱
n. lack of trust; mistrust 不信任，怀疑
a. tending to spread easily from person to person 传染的
PHEASES & EXPRESSIONS
out of style
no longer fashionable 过时的，不再流行
as stated or shown by; in a way that agrees with 按照，根据
(be) faced with
be hard on
on the rise
increasing steadily 在增长;在加剧
a case in point
a very good example 恰当的例子
all except 除了...都
(be) different from
unlike, not the same as 与...不同
think of ... as
in the case of
arrive at a particular state or position 变成(某种状态)
exist in 在于
on the other hand
from the opposed point of view 另一方面,反过来说
at one's best
in as good a state as possible 处于最佳状态
rise; increase 上升;增加
fall; decrease 下降;减少