USAFA Cheating Scandal

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by USNA69, Feb 9, 2007.

  1. USNA69

    USNA69 Banned

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    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/09/AR2007020901082.html

    And USNA Class of 2010 is one of the best in recent history. So instead of compaining that the Naval Academy Admissions Office is too slow, maybe we should compliment them on the quality of their product.
     
  2. justawife

    justawife Founding Member

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    We received an email about this 2 days ago from AOG.

    My spouse and I talked about the cheating, he said every few years, every Academy has some type of cheating scandal. There are always a group of people who think they can get away with something. The general punishment is the lower in class the lesser the punishment. These folks will be on honors pro for up to a year. If they were firstie, they would be out and in the enlisted core or repaying for the education.

    As to the worse class in 20 years, both my spouse and I brought up they changed the schedule this year to give the cadets a longer winter break. Their first class begins at 7AM, this is a half hour earlier and breakfast is mandatory now. There plenty of sleep studies out there about teenage body clocks and that sleepy teens do poorly in school. School districts across the US have discussed changing their HS start times. Many that have and seen less abscent students and better test scores. Also, DF are cranky too, they don't like teaching that early either.
     
  3. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    USNA69 - whether or not you are being sarcastic, we were considered one of the strongest classes in USAFA history. So, timing of appointments has nothing to do with it. This has been blown out of proportion, there are 19 confirmed at 28 investigated. While names are being thrown around, the scandal is limited to a few bad apples.

    I would really like this thread not be about how which academy is better because of grades/scandals/athletics/etc. I personally think that the usual good natured banter is best on more light hearted discussion.

    This is an unfortunate event that draws so much public attention. We will endure.
     
  4. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    Would all our resident USAFA Cadets please sound off and let us know that they are not involved in this mess? We'd sleep better tonight knowing you guys aren't going anywhere but into your second year at USAFA.

    Hornetguy?
    Ramius?

    Did I miss anyone? :confused:


    As for the comparisons, let's not forget that USNA '94 had a huge cheating scandal of their own. Mine had a smaller one. So has West Point. Sadly, it happens.

    What we should all be proud of is that cheating at our beloved Academies is still considered seriously enough to rise to the level of scandal. Cheating at any other school is simply part of doing business.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2007
  5. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    Well said Zaphod, I can account for Raimius and myself, we have no involvement in this.
     
  6. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    Outstanding! Just wanted to hear it straight from you guys! :smile:

    Keep your heads down as the rounds start flying. It's gonna get ugly. :frown:
     
  7. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    Yes, I first heard about this when one of my IC friends told me that he had an informal clarification (first step in an honor investigation) because he passed his K-test. He was royally P.O.ed. He had studied for hours to do well.

    This situation is unfortunate, and we are getting a lot of negative press. (It kind of hurts that all the press seems to make 2010 look like a bunch of dirtbags!) It is too bad that a few cadets made the entire wing look bad. This is being taken VERY seriously by everyone around here.
     
  8. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    Oh, I'll bet it is.

    During my 2/C year, some assholes (suspected to be in my class) decided to break into the room with the EE midterm exams the night before the exam. Weren't too subtle about it, either; they used an axe to break through the door.

    Needless to say that the rest of us were pissing burning napalm when we got the word. Absolutely furious. We would have skewered the bastards in T-Court given the chance because they were talking about redoing the exam, which meant they would have made it even harder. :unhappy:

    Honestly don't recall what the investigation turned up. :confused:
     
  9. USNA69

    USNA69 Banned

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    I am not being sarcastic at all.

    First off, cheating happens. So do sex scandals and alcohol incidents. Pulling thousands of hormone-induced young people from diverse backgrounds all over the country makes it inevitable. It has to be dealt with swiftly, fairly, and in such a manner, that it will dissuade anyone else from trying it in the future. justawife mentions honors pro which, in context, must mean honors probation. I certainly hope not. Integrity is a very serious matter in the military and once lost, is very seldom regained. Expulsion here would teach the necessary, and very difficult, lesson.

    However, my post was really not about cheating. Johnny Whitaker, an AFA spokesman, is being quoted in all the news sources as stating that this year's freshman class has a 19% first semester failure rate and the lowest collective GPA in over 20 years. This concerns me. Very much. As a taxpayer, it appears that my tax dollars are being squandered. Why? Is it the quality of the incoming freshman? Is it some whimsical un-thought-out change in procedures by the administration? Has the freshman class developed a bad attitude in their very short stay at Colorado Springs? Unsubstantiated rumor on my part is that USMA is also having a greater than normal dropout rate this year. I attended a USNA admissions department briefing in the fall immediately after the first reporting period. We were told that plebe summer dropouts was an all-time low and that first reporting period grades were an all-time high. The Class of 2010 was setting a new standard. Why the difference? If it is not the quality of the candidate, what is it and how can it be fixed? My tax dollars are important to me. And so is the quality of the graduate. I do not want a pilot who is unable to perform on a 7am flight defending me and my country in my old age.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2007
  10. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    I concur with Hornetguy on this one.
    The cheating and the failure rate are exclusive of each other and should be treated as such. All of our academies are very selective in their admissions process and attempt to admit the best possible class. I am sure these kids didn't cheat because they are too dumb to pass the test.
    Kids don't cheat because they are stupid. They cheat because of lack of preparation AND they thought they could get away with it.

    Failure rate: I have been around long enough to believe that no story really happens the way it is reported. 19% was reported in the WP, another media outlet said the number of failing at the end of fall semester at 10%. In any case these kids are not failing because they are too stupid to pass. They are failing because of a lack of motivation on their part to do what it takes to pass.

    On to the cheating - kids cheat because they think they can get away with it. I commend the supe for taking quick action and NOT sweeping this under the rug wishing it would go away (like has been done in the past). My first instinct was to think all should just be on the first flight home. But I guess it makes sense to treat the freshmen differently than seniors. If "Honor probation" is as tough as I think it is - probably some who get it will wish they had been expelled.
     
  11. USNA69

    USNA69 Banned

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    My point exactly. It would take all of one day to assign various weights to SATs, GPAs, and difficulty of coursework and rank a slate of 4000 candidates and probably even send out LOAs and many appointments. Dealing with the more esoteric values for motivation, attitude, character, and potential take much longer. Hence my original tongue-in-cheek comment intended to start a dialogue. I have already been called a USNA snob this morning.:shake:


    The 10% quote was from the local Colorado Springs Gazette which I assume has to live with the AFA on a daily basis, Here is their quote (note that it is more than 10%, not 10%. And 19% IS greater than 10%, so they are correct):

    At least three other independent news sources attribute it to academy spokesman, Johnny Whitaker, and place it at 19%. You are correct in that it is a pretty damning stand alone statement. Hopefully, there was more to it.


    I think you are correct. Why? And what can be done to correct it?

    I guess another of my questions is why did academy spokesman Johnny Whitaker feel compelled to announce the 19% freshman failure rate as a part of the cheating press release?
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2007
  12. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    Is there a difference, really? :wink:

    Could someone please describe what "Honor Probation" is? I've never heard the term before. :confused:
     
  13. USNA69

    USNA69 Banned

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    Regaining honor and integrity reminds me of the old Irish "John the Bridge Builder" joke.
     
  14. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    Never heard that one. :confused:
     
  15. USNA69

    USNA69 Banned

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    Thought you would never ask:

    A priest is going to another parish and gets off the train to be met by a little guy called John.
    "Hi, I'm John and I will be taking you to the parish and along the way I'll show you some sites."

    5 mins into the drive John says "if you look out the left window you will see a wall, now I built that wall with my bare hands, bricks mortar and all the labour was mine, now do you think the villagers appreciate it, do you think they call me "John the wall builder", NO.

    The priest looks a little baffled by this but lets it pass....."Do you see that fence surrounding that pasture", says John, well I built that all myself but do you think they call me "John the fence builder" NO.

    "Now see this bridge we are about to cross, well this bridge took me two and a half years to build by myself, all the wood, steel everything, do you think they call me "John the bridge builder" NO

    "But f*** just one lousy sheep..........................."
     
  16. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Here is my understanding of how it works at USNA. The Honor Board (or maybe the Supe, or both) can recommend a penalty other than expulsion -- generally b/c they feel that anyone can make a single mistake and probably can learn from this one and be a better officer having gone thru this (not saying this is necessarily my opinion; it is the rationale espoused by USNA). These mids generally have done well (academically, conduct, professionally; respected by peers, etc.) other than this one "mistake."

    The offending mid gets creamed on demerits and thus will do probably 100 room tours/area tours. He/she will also lose liberty (and maybe leave) privileges for a long time.

    In addition, he/she is assigned to an O-6 for honor remediation. This consists of a series of meetings, readings and (writing) papers about honor -- at the discretion of the O-6. The O-6 provides progress reports. At the end of the process, the O-6 decides whether the mid has been sufficiently remediated. If so, he/she is retained. If not, he/she is expelled.

    I don't mean the above to sound sarcastic -- just hitting the high points. The Supe and Dant, at the BGO mtg several years ago, said it was a very worthwhile program and was preferable to the single sanction. I believe USMA still only has expulsion, but am not sure. Don't know if the process is similar at USAFA.
     
  17. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    Wow. Never heard of that before.
     
  18. nosmileysforme

    nosmileysforme Member

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    Well Zap, it's like this. Sometimes, when it's in the middle of winter, and it's cold and lonely, well, sheep can be warm and cuddly to some folks; in this case John the sheep f#$%^&.
     
  19. cga82

    cga82 Banned

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    West Point used the "Silent Treatment" yrs ago (no longer used). Cadet Pelosi endured this silence and separation from the Corps in the early '70s. The movie The Silent Treatment starring Richard Thomas(Johnboy Walton) shows a very good depiction of this story.
     
  20. AFDAD2010

    AFDAD2010 Member

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    USNA69 -- careful about assumptions behind the statement that this is the lowest performing class ever. Their admission stats were the highest (what Hornetguy referred to). Their relative performance this year could well be 1) that USAFA has experienced a pendulum swing back to the hardass years after deeming the recent leadership as being too "soft", 2) a concerted effort to toughen academic standards not loosen them as others have, 3) a genuine push to increase the importance of knowledge and physical requirements to be on par with academic. All are new this year and may account for changes. Note: I take with a grain of salt the comment from a Naval Academy cadet spending a semester at USAFA: "no wonder they are having trouble, these classes are much harder than Annapolis." No one should jump to any conclusions from that -- it was one guy on one day.....you get the point.
     

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