By Erin Landau, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Friday, September 14, 2012
Some of the Harvard University students involved in a cheating scandal last spring took a leave of absence instead of facing a possible one-year suspension, according to The New York Times. Over 100 students are currently being investigated for committing academic dishonesty on a take-home exam in a government course, making it the largest cheating scandal in Harvard’s history. The course allowed for collaboration with other students, creating a gray area for Harvard officials investigating the incident, according to The Times. Many of the students involved in the incident are athletes, who have a maximum of four years of eligibility to play for Harvard, giving them the incentive to withdraw before losing one year. Harvard basketball star Kyle Casey is rumored to be under investigation in the cheating incident but neither the university nor Casey himself confirmed nor denied the accusations, according to The Times.
Colleges around the country have been both intentionally and accidentally publishing faulty enrollment data to increase their rankings in the U.S. News and World Report, The Chronicle of Higher Education reported. In a recent study conducted by The Chronicle, more than one-fourth of the 224 colleges examined reported different scores to U.S. News than to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. Schools officials contacted by The Chronicle reported data errors and intentional exclusion of conservatory students at both Oberlin College and Johns Hopkins University, The Chronicle reported. At Cornell University, the discrepancy resulted from a timing error — the data submitted to IPED are due in the fall while those submitted to U.S. News are due in spring, giving the university time to correct their computational mistakes, according to The Chronicle.
In a paper challenging the notion that private school vouchers led to increased college enrollment, Sara Goldrick-Rab wrote that vouchers failed to produce increased enrollment in college by children from low-income families, according to Insider Higher Education. These vouchers have been a topic of an intense educational debate between Republicans and Democrats, with the former arguing that they expand the choices of low-income families who would otherwise be forced to attend lower-quality public schools. Democrats insist that the vouchers divert money away from public schools toward private and religious institutions. One study asserted that vouchers successfully increased enrollment of African-American youth in selective colleges, while not impacting enrollment of Hispanics in similar institutions. Goldrick-Rab’s study concludes that the increase is not significant enough to make a lasting impact and that the first study does not recognize possible lasting negative impacts on future enrollment for low-income families.