Cheating Allegations at MHS

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MTT News Desk's picture
Matt Geiger

The Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District re-administered a math test and plans to delve into some of its policies and procedures following allegations that students cheated on recent exams.

In a message sent to parents and guardians late last week, Middleton High School principal Denise Herrmann said the district recently discovered a calculus exam was “compromised.”

That exam, which took place on Tuesday and Wednesday, was re-administered after the district learned of the allegations.

“In response, we launched an investigation that included interviews with staff and students as well as a review of video footage,” wrote Herrmann. “We also received several letters from students and parents which provided additional information to the scope and severity of cheating on tests in courses across the curriculum.”

Perry Hibner, the district’s community relations specialist, confirmed the district received four anonymous tips from parents and students claiming cheating occurred.

“Academic integrity is of utmost importance to all of us,” Herrmann wrote. “We are asking for your support in talking with your students about the ramifications of engaging in some of the dishonest assessment practices reported to us… .”

Herrmann said cheating techniques reported to the district included using cell phones to take photographs of tests, removing additional copies of tests from classrooms, sharing and even selling photographs of test questions, bartering questions on tests from one content area to another and planning absences on test days to obtain test information.

Hibner said the district’s investigation was made difficult by the anonymous nature of the reports.

Middleton High School currently has fairly liberal cell phone policies, allowing individual teachers to determine if and when they may be used.

Cheating is considered a level two behavior as defined by the Middleton High School Code of Conduct, and students could be suspended for infractions.

“We encourage you and your student to share any information that may be pertinent to our ongoing investigation of cheating practices,” Herrmann wrote. “Such information can be shared with an administrator, school counselor, or teacher.”

“We are hopeful that through our collaborative efforts we can determine the root cause of talented students choosing to participate in dishonest academic practices,” she concluded. “In January, we will host a series of focus groups, including staff, students, and parents to problem-solve short- and long-term solutions.  More information on the focus groups will be provided in January.”

“We want to have not only high achieving students, but also high character kids,” added Hibner.


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