The Cheaters — Now They Have Created a Marketplace for Assignments

While West Point is focused on catching those who cheat on exams, the rest of us are facing a bigger problem. You know that trouble is afoot when you read these words, “Consider hiring me to do your assignments.” Bless the little cherubs. Whilst the adults are arguing over masks and teacher pay, students are not only finishing their jokes-of-homework, they have captured the entrepreneuiral spirit and are offering assignment services and even their own homework assignments. You can put in bids to grab an assignment. Clever little demons, aren’t they? You can buy an assignment instead of copying something from the internet because schools have software to detect that kind of cheating.

Face it, all you educators on your health-concerned high horses and computers at home, no one believes that real learning has gone on for the past year. The Wall Street Journal confirmed it with its solid work on cheating. In fact, cheating is so rampant that we now have firms that will help schools detect who is behind the cheating scams, schemes, and auctions. Tawnell D. Holmes, “Cheating at School Grows Rampant,” Wall Street Journal, May 13, 2021, p. A1. The net revenue for one of these online detective firms increased 57% over the past year.

One more thing, and something that emerged in defense of the cadets who cheated on an exam, rationalizations abound. One teacher noted that students commented that it was “unfair” to put them trough a disciplinary process because they “were going through a pandemic.” Ah, COVID 19 has taken the place of “The dog ate my homework.”

Oh, the things we learn about ourselves when we shut down the country for over a year. Kids grew businesses to facilitate cheating. Adults gamed the system to leap-frog ahead on vaccines. Government officials stepped in to get friends, relatives, and donors tested and vaccinated ahead of our most vulnerable. And presidents gave away patents. Looks like the rules don’t matter, and if someone calls us on violations, well, just say, “The pandemic made me do it.”

About mmjdiary

Professor Marianne Jennings is an emeritus professor of legal and ethical studies from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, retiring in 2011 after 35 years of teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in ethics and the legal environment of business. During her tenure at ASU, she served as director of the Joan and David Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics from 1995-1999. In 2006, she was appointed faculty director for the W.P. Carey Executive MBA Program. She has done consulting work for businesses and professional groups including AICPA, Boeing, Dial Corporation, Edward Jones, Mattel, Motorola, CFA Institute, Southern California Edison, the Institute of Internal Auditors, AIMR, DuPont, AES, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Motorola, Hy-Vee Foods, IBM, Bell Helicopter, Amgen, Raytheon, and VIAD. The sixth edition of her textbook, Case Studies in Business Ethics, was published in February 2011. The ninth edition of her textbook, Business: lts Legal, Ethical and Global Environment was published in January 2011. The 23rd edition of her book, Business Law: Principles and Cases, will be published in January 2013. The tenth edition of her book, Real Estate Law, will also be published in January 2013. Her book, A Business Tale: A Story of Ethics, Choices, Success, and a Very Large Rabbit, a fable about business ethics, was chosen by Library Journal in 2004 as its business book of the year. A Business Tale was also a finalist for two other literary awards for 2004. In 2000 her book on corporate governance was published by the New York Times MBA Pocket Series. Her book on long-term success, Building a Business Through Good Times and Bad: Lessons from Fifteen Companies, Each With a Century of Dividends, was published in October 2002 and has been used by Booz, Allen, Hamilton for its work on business longevity. Her latest book, The Seven Signs of Ethical Collapse was published by St. Martin’s Press in July 2006 and has been a finalist for two book awards. Her weekly columns are syndicated around the country, and her work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, the New York Times, Washington Post, and the Reader's Digest. A collection of her essays, Nobody Fixes Real Carrot Sticks Anymore, first published in 1994 is still being published. She has been a commentator on business issues on All Things Considered for National Public Radio. She has served on four boards of directors, including Arizona Public Service (1987-2000), Zealous Capital Corporation, and the Center for Children with Chronic Illness and Disability at the University of Minnesota. She was appointed to the board of advisors for the Institute of Nuclear Power Operators in 2004 and served on the board of trustees for Think Arizona, a public policy think tank. She has appeared on CNBC, CBS This Morning, the Today Show, and CBS Evening News. In 2010 she was named one of the Top 100 Thought Leaders in Business Ethics by Trust Across America. Her books have been translated into four different languages. She received the British Emerald award for authoring one of their top 50 articles in management publications, chosen from over 15,000 articles. Personal: Married since 1976 to Terry H. Jennings, Maricopa County Attorney’s Office Deputy County Attorney; five children: Sarah, Sam, and John, and the late Claire and Hannah Jennings.
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