Better Believe It......Because They Actually Happen(ed) Collection 3

Anti-cheating measures set for gaokao

By Zhang Yue in Beijing and Han Junhong in Changchun

Less than two weeks ahead of China's national college entrance examination, or gaokao, which will take place on June 7 and 8, the Ministry of Education has signed contracts with higher education admission commissions of all provinces, regions and municipalities to ensure a fair, transparent national exam across the country. Such measures include installing monitoring cameras at every testing venue and mobile signal shielding.

According to the contract, the ministry takes charge of overall assigning and monitoring of the gaokao in 2014. Local higher education admission commissions should provide a sound and transparent testing environment. They are responsible to work closely with the ministry to wipe out group cheating in the gaokao, and act efficiently toward unexpected accidents that may happen during the two-day exam.

About 9.12 million people participated in the exam in 2013, widely reckoned as the largest examination in Asia.

Full story at China Daily USA (May 2014)

Brooklyn principal cheated by giving kids extra time on state tests, former teachers say

By Ben Chapman and Stephen Rex Brown

Jameela Horton-Ball told teachers at the Middle School for Marketing and Legal Studies in East Flatbush to give students up to double time on the English and math state exams in 2012 and 2013, five former employees say. An investigation by the Daily News also found memos from 2012 showing testing lasted from the start of school to lunchtime — far beyond the allotted time of around 90 minutes. City officials have been investigating the principal since last May.

A dodgy Brooklyn principal is under investigation for allegedly cheating by giving scores of students extra time on high-stakes state exams.

Five former teachers at the Middle School for Marketing and Legal Studies in East Flatbush say Jameela Horton-Ball ordered instructors to give kids up to double time on English Language Arts and math exams in 2012 and 2013.

An investigation by the Daily News also uncovered memos from 2012 indicating that testing lasted from the start of school to lunchtime — far beyond the normal allotted time of around 90 minutes.

Other documents show Horton-Ball ordered at least 12 out of 24 classes to receive time and a half or double time on tests — far beyond the 18% of the students at the school entitled to extra time because they’re in special ed.

Full story at NY Daily News (April 2014)

Scandal of the university students who get fewer than 100 hours' teaching a year

By Jonathan Petre

Huge differences in the face-to-face teaching time students receive at Britain's top universities have been exposed by new official figures.

Some undergraduates – paying tuition fees of £9,000 a year – get fewer than half the hours of lectures, seminars and tutorials than others studying the same subject at another university.

Critics say the disparities mean many are getting a 'very raw deal' and accuse some universities of failing to offer value for money.

The new figures, compiled from statistics on Government website Unistats, show that one of the widest gaps involves undergraduates studying history at York University, who spend just eight per cent of their course in lectures and seminars, with the rest in 'independent' study.

Full story at The Daily Mail Online (April 2013)

Top commander at US nuclear missile base resigns in wake of test cheating scandal

By Dante D'Orazio

The US Air Force has fired nine commanders and accepted the resignation of a senior officer following a scandal involving systemic cheating on proficiency exams at a nuclear missile base in Montana. In January, investigators first stumbled across evidence that officers were using text messages to cheat on exams designed to ensure that they were prepared to handle "emergency war orders" that detail nuclear strike targets.

Since then, the Pentagon has revealed that the cheating involves far more Air Force personnel than first thought: 82 officers are now implicated, according to the Associated Press, though not all participated in cheating. Some were merely aware of the text messages and chose not to reveal it to superiors. Four "librarians," three of whom are also tied to reports of illicit drug use, are said to be at the center of the cheating scandal.

The nine mid-level officers were disciplined because "they failed to provide adequate oversight of their crew force," according to an Air Force representative. Colonel Robert Stanley, the commander of the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom Air Force Base, said in a resignation letter that "this is a wake-up call for everyone who has lost their sense of right and wrong, for those who have become cynical and for those indoctrinated by modern society to acquiesce when faced with bad behavior." Stanley was not tied to the scandal, but he said "I represent this wing to the world, and we let the American people down on my watch."

Full story at The Verge (March 2014)