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Naperville Central Administrators Investigating Student Cheating Scandal

A Naperville Central High School cheating scandal, believed to be brought on by a "Bring Your Own Device" pilot program, is being investigated by administrators.

After a pilot program allowing students to bring their own portable devices to class was put into place, Naperville Central High School administrators are facing an increased amount of cheating incidents, Naperville Sun reports.

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Principal Bill Wiesbrook addressed parents about the issue in an email sent out on Friday, stating the school's "Academic Integrity" had come into question after the "Bring Your Own Device" pilot program launched, Naperville Sun reports. 

This fall, Naperville School District 203 started the Bring Your Own Device program, which allows students to use electronic devices such as smartphones, iPads, laptops and tablets in the classroom, according to district 203's website.  

"The intent of “Bring your own device” is to allow students to engage in learning using these devices and to safely access District solutions and resources such as our Learning Management System, Student Information System, Naviance, email, calendaring, SharePoint, library systems, common productivity applications and many other web-based resources including internet access to enhance and, at times, transform their learning experience," Naperville School District 203 Chief Information Officer Roger J. Brunelle said in a letter on the district's website.

It is not known how many students were involved in the cheating incidents, Naperville Sun reports.

Nearly 500 students across the district have been participating in the program, which is scheduled to end this month, according to Brunelle's letter. 

"It is better to be honest and fall short of a goal than to take an unethical shortcut and reach a goal. The end is not more important than the path taken to reach the end," Wiesbrook said in a letter to parents, also posted on the Central Times website. "As a principal, I would rather have a student who earns a grade of “C” honestly than a student who receives a grade of “A” through dishonest behavior."

Weisbrook added that the recent cheating concerns were brought to the attention to school staff by other students at NCHS. 

Central Times reports that Weisbrook met with the student paper on Dec. 3 and told reporters punishment would be determined on a case-by-case basis.

To read more, visit Naperville Sun.

Louise December 10, 2012 at 01:30 PM
"The principal's statement, however, did not blame the cheating on the new technology program." Well duh. Phones don't take photos of tests and email to contacts without someone pushing the button. But do we really have to make it so easy to cheat? These are teenagers who, by definition, will try to push limits and take the easiest path. At least by banning cellphone use, teens will actually have to think in order to cheat. And it's not the handful of cheaters we should be worrying about. I promise you most students are texting, tweeting and posting on FB during classes. Ask a teen. He/she will tell you the truth. The benefits of wi-fi and cellphone use in high schools are minimal. The distractions are huge.
Jim Smith December 10, 2012 at 05:10 PM
The two ringleaders were suspended for a few days but are back in school. The cheating took place in more than the one class that has been mentioned (AP Economics) and did occur in classes in which students were not allowed to utilize electronic devices.
bluebird December 10, 2012 at 11:59 PM
Unfortunately, anyone in an AP class who reads the principal's remarks about earning a "C" honestly--will be unimpressed. Wiesbrook is correct, of course. But for an AP student, the goal is getting the top grade because of the impression an "A" will have on his/her college transcripts--and thus his/her future. His/her parents have already impressed this notion upon their teenager. . I say the BYOD program should be nixed entirely--or the district should develp and distribute devices of its own making which can only access select district websites. This might allow BYOD to be the educational tool it is meant to be, at least in the district's eyes.
Jim Smith December 11, 2012 at 02:04 AM
The word among the students is that seniors involved will most likely get away with this and not experience any impact on their college admissions. Most of them have already sent off their transcripts and letters of recommendation (Due December 1 for top schools). The high school can't legally inform the colleges about the cheating scandal unless the college contacts them in the future to inquire specifically about the students behavior. However, this situation could indirectly harm a LOT of NCHS graduates. As college admissions officers hear about this, they may take a closer and more cautious look at any NCHS seniors they were considering.
Jim Smith December 11, 2012 at 02:05 AM
"anyone in an AP class who reads the principal's remarks about earning a "C" honestly--will be unimpressed. " ITA. Wiesbrook isn't the one making college admissions decisions.
Michael Hunt December 11, 2012 at 05:59 AM
I can not even IMAGINE what going to HS would've been like with Google around. It boggles my little mind. ... My mind reels probably in the same way laborers during the Industrial Revolution would've felt if someone could've have told them that someday there'd be such a thing as sick days and paid vacations.
Sherry Smith December 12, 2012 at 02:19 AM
It brings to question what the teachers were doing during these tests. Are they walking around, standing in the back of the classroom or were they on their laptops checking their email?
ANN MARIE December 15, 2012 at 02:12 PM
That is the MOST ridiculous program I have ever heard of. Perhaps the administration needs to learn about computers and what is available on the internet. Oh and just wait until they learn that cell phone have cameras! OYE VEH. Get rid of the program and have them take their test the old fashioned way. On paper with a pen!! No books, notes, laptops, cellphones or tablets....
Jim Smith December 18, 2012 at 02:53 AM
Ann Marie, the kids were not supposed to be using their phones during testing. That was not part of the program. Lately, NCHS teachers have been collecting phones on test days and paying more attention.

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