You Have Got To Be KIDDING ME !

Discussion in 'Publicly and Privately Funded Military Colleges' started by Lawman32RPD, May 28, 2015.

  1. Lawman32RPD

    Lawman32RPD Member

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    Seriously? I am simply too aghast to respond in a way that doesn’t include vitriol and invective. One can carry anything too far, including honor codes, and reasonable people can disagree while holding true to their beliefs; but the idea that honor, that truth, that honesty is “naïve”; well, I view that as a concept too far. As someone who has flitted back and forth watching politics up close, law enforcement and the practice of law up close, and national security matters up close, I get that the real world is messy. That said, the idea that the aspirational goal of honor is shopworn makes me genuinely fearful for the future. What follows are the last two paragraphs of an opinion piece in the Washington Post advocating the abolition of honor codes for colleges.

    “Honor codes can be just as easily misapplied as egregiously flouted: They are used to punish well-meaning rule-followers for minor infractions yet, because they rely on reluctant student enforcers, allow flagrant violators to walk free. As a result, they breed confusion, mistrust and ill will on college campuses.

    "It’s time for honor codes to go the way of armored knights, family crests and other emblems of that quaint and naive concept of honor. Schools should find more concrete ways of demonstrating they are serious about upholding academic ethics: implementing more “cheat-proof” assignments, like in-class essays; collecting cellphones or shutting off the Internet during tests; and even, when the professor and subject matter warrant it, permitting the kind of close collaboration that students will soon find in the workplace. By forsaking the honor code, colleges might actually succeed in restoring a measure of integrity.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/05/28/why-colleges-should-ditch-honor-codes/ (emphasis not in original).
     
  2. SGTLee

    SGTLee Member

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    I am almost 'lost my wheaties' reading this.............Dear Lord, this can't be the way.
     
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  3. MedB

    MedB Parent

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    In other words....
    Once again shift the burden of responsibility for personal conduct (ie honor) away from the individual and onto to someone, anyone, else.
    "Well the only reason little Johnny cheated was because it was the same test from last year. If THEY didn't want him to cheat, THEY should have changed the test so he couldn't!"

    I really hate to sound like the crazy old timer, but truly nothing makes me more fearful for the future than the apparent abdication of personal responsibility. Most certainly not a message that had any place in the home we raised our children in.
     
  4. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    UM...its WAPO what did you expect? Seriously I am not shocked at all.

    I am curious how this author that one worked for Newsweek feels about plagiarism?
     
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  5. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    OBTW that author of the opinion piece has a blog too. Unvarnishedmom.com. now did I agree with parts of her latest blog...College tours, panini press matters? Yes, but I also felt like lady your kids don't get it at all.
    ~ She states the following comments from her kids when they did tours:
    ~~ Too pompous
    ~~ Too low browbrow
    ~~ Too preppy
    ~~ Too alternative
    ~~ Too christian
    ~~ Too Jewish

    Now here is my thing...nowwhere in her blog did her kids say, what my kids looked for...academic aspects. It was superficial in everything. I didn't realize that Palm trees or smiling too much by a tour guide was important.
    ~ I guess it is because I expected my kids to be mature and remember this was about getting an education in their field so they could fly the nest! Not about a tour guide that walks 50 people around over the course of an hour.

    Yes, my DD at VT fell in love with the campus, and to her it is the best in the world, but it was also the best academic program for her.. Our DSs love their campuses too and would never attend their sisters...unless forced. DS1 was AFROTC and it had the best AFROTC program tied to his major. DS2 is at college that he loved more, but again the best academic program for him.

    I get the campus feeling, but seriously, I would have slapped my kids upside their cranium with comments like her kids...especially the pompous comment, because she allowed her kids to be narrow minded and pompus with their opinions.

    To me the reason her children had these opinions is because the apple didn't fall far from the tree...Mommy.

    I am also going to be honest...I don't think her kids have to worry about the cost for college. Telling parents that kids pick schools because of panini presses just tells me you are out of touch with the average college student that takes loans, grants, etc to attend college, and for most parents the unvarnished truth we face is saying...sorry, unless you get a merit package...the too lowbrow, too preppy, too whatever is not a player in this decision factor.

    It is kind of funny...think about it...her blog is called the unvarnishedmom.com, but has not lived the unvarnished life where the avg kid has more than 27k in college debt.
     
  6. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I have just read the comments from the article and the majority are taking her out to her Middlebury VT woodshed.
    ~ Some of my favorites were asking her if she felt okay with her Dr., attorney or financial advisor regarding honor code violations.
    ~~ runnerup was her approach prepares children to live in her basement or dependent on the govt.

    That is tied with the comment....when the going gets tough demand the rules to be changed!

    The irony is she doesn't get as a liberal prof that her right to state these opinions comes from college students at SAs, SMCs or ROTC that if they violated the honor code at their academic instutuion would be unable to defend her right to have the OP piece in WAPO printed.

    OH and unless you join her blog you can't leave any comments...so in other words, she wants to use freedom of speech to express her opinion through the press, but doesn't want anyone else to have that right when it comes to her blog.
    ~ I forgot that is again a right that our military members and future members, be it officers or enlisted, will defend so she can speak freely.

    Please Susan H. Greenberg move to Iran, Cuba, Russia, China.

    FYI, I am hoping by posting this maybe when she Googles her name she will see this website appear. Granted even if it does, I am sure she will believe my post is ignorant and will be arrogant enough to ignore it.

    However, Damn it feels good to remind her that she lives in a tiny bubble and the reason that bubble has not popped is due to the honor code.
    ~ She also had an OpInion piece in the NYT, Feb. 205 Basically her DD was stressed over the fact that if she could not find an internship, it would be OMG...she has to take a job!
    ~~ LMAO on that one! Name me a kid at an SA, SMC or ROTC scholarship that didn't check that square when they were in HS? That they not only cvvolunteered, but held a job too?
    ~~~ Her words:
    Oh, its free llabor. Isnt your willingness to bust your butt for nothing qualifaction enough?

    Her other thought for her freshmen DD when she called was regarding qualifications and experiences...was Clearly none. If you ask me.

    Obviusly, I think Mommy's name got her admitted to Harvard and now OMG Ms. Greenberg has found out the real world ... She is just one longer a special snowflake!
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2015
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  7. OptimisticPessimist

    OptimisticPessimist Member

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    My initial disagreement with the article is that honor codes, specifically bans on certain types of collaboration in the context of academic projects, stifles the collaboration needed in the workforce today. The problem with her example is that is an introductory computing course, not even a computer science upper-level course. If you want a career in CS/IT and can't handle the basics of a programming language such as Python on your own, you will be worse than useless in a group setting. Saying that you need industry-levels of collaboration in a CS-100 course is like saying you need a world-class lab to teach biology 101. Furthermore, the collaboration limits set out by the professor sound like the type of collaboration you would encounter in an industry setting. I know quite a few people who work in programming fields, and I can almost guarantee you that none of them go through all of their code line-by-line with their coworkers. You have to have considerable baseline knowledge before you can contribute anything of value to a group of specialists. The collaboration rules might get a bit fuzzy sometimes, but that's the nature of academic and professional ethics, and it's up to students to make sure that they always err on the side of caution.

    Moving on through the article, she claims that honor codes are suited to the universities of 100 years ago, where only "basic facts" were tested. To patronizingly claim that only basic facts were tested 100 years ago, where scientists and engineers were laying the foundation of the modern scientific age and thinkers such as Ludwig Wittgenstein were preparing to change philosophy and the humanities forever, is so laughable as to be almost obscene. She also seems to think that honor codes only permit certain forms of testing and stifle all forms of collaboration - something that is patently false because, as far as I am aware, professors at honor code institutions have the freedom to set the boundaries of what they think is reasonable collaboration for each of their classes. She makes the whole honor code system seem far more rigid than it actually is.

    As for low peer-reporting and compliance, I think the low rates speak more to the moral quality of the students and institutions than the merits of an honor code. I would also be interested to see differences in schools where the honor code is highly emphasized and severe penalties are imposed on those who fail to report cheaters and those where the honor code isn't as ingrained; for example, I've read some of Dartmouth's promotional material and I had no idea that they had an honor code, whereas VMI and El Cid (among others) inform you of their expectations from the get-go. I think the quote from McCabe that she uses, that honor codes' influence have "eroded over the past two decades" speaks more to low standards than the deficiencies of the honor code system. If institutions decide that honor has no meaning to modern students, and that they have no responsibility to uphold it amongst themselves, then what is the use of policing academic activity at all? Why shouldn't students do everything they can to get ahead? If honor is irrelevant because it is abstract, in her words "quaint and naive", then what makes any other value any better? What, then, are the penalties for cheating but the absurd punishments of a completely arbitrary system? Values such as honor and ethics will always exist in the abstract and their exact meanings and bases will always be somewhat elusive, but that does not mean that they don't exist or that they have no importance in gluing society together. If academic institutions surrender the flag of the good and true and embrace the expectation that students will do whatever they can to get ahead, then why should we expect anything from their graduates? Why should we expect ethical behavior of medical professionals, lawyers, accountants, clergy, or any number of other professions? If they preserve nothing else, academic institutions should uphold the virtue of honorable conduct until the bitter end.
     
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  8. majstlo

    majstlo Member

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    while I agree this is a disturbing trend it shouldn't be a surprise. We are a society suffering severe moral decay where children are not taught manners and honesty by parents, where liberals push an "anything goes" mentality and where public figures who should be role models like politicians, athletes and even senior military officers routinely are seen taking bribes, using drugs, having affairs and engaging in all other types of unsavory behavior. There is very little honor left in our country but the good news is that I do not see any chance that the service academies, VMI or The Citadel will ever not have or stop enforcing their honor codes. There are still a few places in this country that are an 'oasis' of honor, integrity, discipline and patriotism.
     
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