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Planted 02022-03-09

Modern education views education as cheating

This is a half-thought, half-baked item I don’t have the time or attention to continue at the moment—I have to memorize Macroeconomics equations, Java-isms, and marketing bullshit.

Modern academic integrity is bullshit. Standardized tests should be used to measure education, not if you are educated.

Cheating can only exists within the boundaries of rules and measurement. If there are no rules, there is nothing to cheat. By definition, in academia education is cheating as “academic integrity” is not a measure during university educational moments; it’s a measure after university educational moments. Modern education punishes genuine students, those devoted to learning, with its profound focus on standardized tests instead of education.

Thinking about the rampant use of online proctoring and clamors of cheating, from top to bottom, none of it really makes sense.

Miami University provides examples of what they consider cheating, I’ve summarized them as the following:

  • Unauthorized information is cheating
  • Unauthorized materials is cheating
  • Another students work is cheating
  • Another individual is cheating
  • Participating in another students completion is cheating
  • Unauthorized information provided to another student is cheating

If you didn’t find this profoundly absurd, I hope I can turn on a light for you.

But, before we come back to cheating we have to talk a bit about university and education.

The Freedom of the University

The best definition of a university that I have been able to think of is that it is a center of independent thought. Such centers are indispensable to the progress, and even to the security, of any society. — Robert Maynard Hutchins, 1951, The Freedom of The University

Ironically, the only reason I am able and authorized to read “The Freedom of The University” is because my University provides me access to the journal. Any academic who has not read it should read it here.

If they can find something that they can call education, but that is really something else, like schooling or training or housing or exercising the young, they will enthusiastically support it, and at the same time they will be indifferent to, and even fearful of, true education. True education is the improvement of men through helping them learn to think for themselves.

Since a university faculty is a group set apart to think independently and to help other people to learn to do so, it is fatal to force conformity upon it.
We are just emerging from an era in which a schoolteacher could lose her job by smoking, dancing, or using cosmetics. We should avoid entering one in which a professor can lose his post and his reputation by holding views of politics, economics, or international relations that are not acceptable to the majority. This is thought control.

The aim of the community is independent thought. This requires the defense of the independence of its members.


You can purchase, acquire, and cheat a modern “education”. But you can do none of those to true education.

Educate comes from two different roots: educaten and educere, respectably meaning to bring up and to lead out.

You cannot cheat your way to becoming educated.

Imagine if you were tasked with bringing up and leading out 5 people. Would you create questions that can be scored in a pre-determined manner? Would you cast out any person who found a resource that helps them answer such questions? Would you make a measurement to publicly rank them based on their scores? Would you make the items that make up that public measurement glow bright red for those who don’t keep up?

Did you say no to every question but the first? You don’t see these as actions a center of independent thought would take?

Instead, these “educational” institutions seem to be centers of standardized tests.

Standardized Tests

Standardized tests are tests designed in such a way that the questions and interpretations are consistent and are administered and scored in a predetermined, standard manner.

Such tests reward quick answers to superficial questions—questions either lacking or flat-out ignoring complexity and multiple viewpoints and expect test-takers to be directly aligned to the administrators thoughts. Standardized tests directly oppose independent thought.

Standardized tests are the easy outcome and solution to the problem of enforcing obedience by optimizing for quantifiable compliance.

With standardized testing, teachers need not be capable of observation, documentation, or evaluation to genuinely help students to find solutions.

Solutions are naturally complex with multiple viewpoints.

Even in mathematics, mathematicians were once so averse to negative numbers that there was no single quadratic equation. Instead of the quadratic equation and its negative counterparts, their solution was six different versions arranged so they were always positive.

In a center of independent thought, the quadratic equation is seen as a point of entry to exploration and acquisition. In a center of standardized testing, the quadratic equation is seen as wrong, and questions result in mysterious answers such as “The quadratic equation is wrong because negative numbers don’t exist, thus negative solutions to problems are wrong and equations requiring negative solutions are absurd.”

Standardized testing views students as McDonalds views burgers. A production line, designed to remove the inherent variation of the products, sees variation as a defect and is devoted to be as free of it as possible.

Production lines are wonderful for industrialists. However, the products of University centers of standardized testing are called students—a deep perversion as they characteristically leave with more disgust than devotion to learning.

Using standardized testing results to measure students ability instead of the teachers ability is absurd. A production line that produces distinctions indicates errors in the production process, not the item.

Standardized tests should be used to measure education, not if you are educated.


Standardized tests brings another necessary item to the production line: proctors.

“Privacy and integrity for digital learning.”


A cheat is an act of deception or fraud.

Deception is the act of deceiving; to cause to believe what is false, or disbelieve what is true.

Fraud is deception deliberately practiced with a view to gaining an unlawful or unfair advantage.

Cheating is:

  • Causing one to believe what is false, or disbelieve what is true
  • Deceiving to gain an unlawful or unfair advantage.

This likely needs more work—I find this definition to be so broad as to be useless.

Wikipedia defines cheating as “various actions designed to subvert rules in order to obtain unfair advantages”. Which brings up the idea that cheating can only exist in the boundaries of rules—and creating imaginary rules that don’t exist is not playing to win.

These rules are not created for education. Instead, they are created for money.

We know that millions are spent annually on enterprises called educational that have no educational value.
Some waste is inevitable; but the amount that we find in some universities is disgraceful. These institutions carry on extravagant enterprises that by no stretch of the imagination can be called educational and then plead poverty as the reason for their financial campaigns. The self-interest of professors, the vanity of administrators, trustees, and alumni, and the desire to attract public attention are more or less involved in these extravagances. Yet the result of them is that the institution is unintelligible and, in every sense of the word, insupportable.
Every time a university takes another step in the direction of the service-station conception, or the public-entertainment conception, or the housing-project conception of the higher learning, every time it makes a concession to public pressure in order to get money, every time it departs from the idea of a university as a center of independent thought, it increases the confusion in the public mind about what a university is and makes it more difficult to present any rational appeal for the independence that true universities are entitled to.

Again, the Miami University examples:

  • Using unauthorized information is an act of deception or fraud
  • Using unauthorized materials is an act of deception or fraud
  • Using another students work is an act of deception or fraud
  • Using another individual is an act of deception or fraud
  • Participating in another students completion is an act of deception or fraud
  • Using unauthorized information provided to another student is an act of deception or fraud

Using unauthorized information is an act of deception or fraud

Using unauthorized materials is an act of deception or fraud

Using another students work is an act of deception or fraud