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14 November 2015: Bill and Ted's Excellent Business - a JB Production

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Jack


Admin


BILL'S AND TED'S EXCELLENT BUSINESS
A John Boy Production

You are the father of three boys: Bill, Ted and Cam. Cam is 16 and in high school. Ted and Bill are 13 and 12 and are in middle school. Recently, Cam has passed down his old laptop to his younger brothers and hit you up for a new Macbook Pro.

CAM - 16
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Lately you've noticed that the two younger boys have been pouring over the old laptop, but they tell you that they're working on a special project for school. They spend so much time on it that you regret not getting them a laptop earlier.

BILL - 12 & TED - 13
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It's a total surprise when the Principal at the middle school calls. It seems that a copy of one of Cam's old tests was found in the hands of one of Ted's classmates. Cam's name wasn't on it, but the teacher recognised a scrap of his handwriting on the margin of the paper and matched it to his records. This teacher rotates his math exams every few years, and it seems that Cam's old exams are in use this year.

With a little investigation, you discover that Cam scanned his old exams and stored them in his old laptop where his younger brothers discovered them. Ted realized that all the math tests are the ones he is taking. Enterprisingly, Ted and Bill went into business, they even show you a shoebox stuffed with ten dollar bills.

The school doesn't know about Ted and Bill's side business.

What do you do now?


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John Boy


Sherrif
It ends now. It is cheating and if they were caught it would be a big problem. The teacher should also considering remaking tests after the discovery by the principal. I think the boys need to either give refunds or maybe donate the money to a school drive of some sort not sure if this calls for the old hand or belt of justice. Probably but we shall see what the boys do when I discuss the problem with them.

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Kat


Editor Extraordinaire
The teacher recycling his exams is inexcusable. I trust the principal will see to it. If teachers create these sorts of circumstances, then cheating will happen.

As to Bill and Ted's business, it's obviously shut down. I'm not going to try to sort out refunding money. It's all going to charity. I'm not going to punish anyone beyond their having to listen to me give a long lecture on ethics.

Kat

db105


Trailboss
I'm not sure why the principal is calling me. Here's a crazy idea: how about coming up with a new exam each time instead of reusing exams from previous years, since shockingly it seems that students are capable of communicating?

Using exams from previous years as a way to prepare is legitimate. Admitedly, it's something that seems more normal for college students than for middle school students, but it still doesn't seem the slightest bit wrong to me. This is not cheating. The only problem is the teacher's laziness.

On the other hand, I'll tell the boys that their business ends now. They can help or not help their mates, but charging them money is not appropriate, and could also land them in trouble with the school.

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AFinch


Sherrif
I agree with Kat and Daniel.  Studying old tests to learn what sort of information was required to pass them is time-honored.  Giving the exact same test because you don't want to be bothered to make a new one is at least as much cheating on the part of the teacher(s) as what the boys have been doing.  They're out of business, though.  Other than that, no punishment.



Last edited by AFinch on Fri Nov 13, 2015 7:42 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Clarity)

Iconoclast


Trailboss
db105 wrote:I'm not sure why the principal is calling me. Here's a crazy idea: how about coming up with a new exam each time instead of reusing exams from previous years, since shockingly it seems that students are capable of communicating?

Using exams from previous years as a way to prepare is legitimate. Admitedly, it's something that seems more normal for college students than for middle school students, but it still doesn't seem the slightest bit wrong to me. This is not cheating. The only problem is the teacher's laziness.

On the other hand, I'll tell the boys that their business ends now. They can help or not help their mates, but charging them money is not appropriate, and could also land them in trouble with the school.

I mostly agree but the boys keep their well earned money and I will tell them to say only that these old tests are study guides ONLY!

The school has paid me NOTHING to help them protect their security, so I won't!!

Iconoclast

StevieWeeks


Trailboss
I can't really fault the boys in this. It's not really cheating because it certainly is reasonable to expect students to use past tests as a study tool and this is something I myself have done in the past; this is not cheating in any way.

If the school is using the same tests in the same order there is no excuse for this sloppiness and I have no real sympathy for the behaviour of the staff... they ought to have known this would happen, and indeed I am inclined to wonder if this has been done deliberately in order to inflate the test scores of their pupils and all...

Stevie.

Y Lee Coyote


Cowboy
There is an ancient joke about this.

A couple of guys return to college to visit.  When seeing their accounting professor they notice that the test he is grading is the same as the one they took.  They make the observation that the exams are all in the frat files.

"Oh that's ok," he replies, "we change the answers."

Laughing Laughing Laughing

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AFinch


Sherrif
Y Lee Coyote wrote:There is an ancient joke about this.

A couple of guys return to college to visit.  When seeing their accounting professor they notice that the test he is grading is the same as the one they took.  They make the observation that the exams are all in the frat files.

"Oh that's ok," he replies, "we change the answers."

Laughing Laughing Laughing

Is that a joke? I thought it was today's definition of "established science".

MemoryMan


Sherrif
I'm with Daniel.

Their "business" is morally questionable and will end but they can keep what they have earned so far.

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ivor


Marshall
Include me with Kat & Daniel.

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Jack


Admin
ivor wrote:Include me with Kat & Daniel.

My only disagreement is that the boys seem to have known they were doing something wrong, else they wouldn't have hid what kind of 'project' they were doing. That makes it hard for me to let them off without sore bottoms, but if they're convincing enough during the discussion, I'll let it ride this time.


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squarecutter


Sherrif
I'm shutting the scam it down but I almost think this is a school issue. Years back for GCE's we practiced for exams by doing old exam essay questions the school kept, hoping that if the question came up again we could ace it. If the school is silly enough to recycle its test questions knowing that they allowed students to keep papers once done then they cant really be too surprised. My lads have just been stupid not to keep quiet about it. If they get in trouble it is for the little money making scheme. I will confiscate the money for charity( no sympathy for Bill and Teds friends but they didnt pay what they couldnt afford) and the school can deal with the boys as they see fit(within reason.)if they find out. I don't quite see it as cheating as the boys still have to know the material to pass. They just got a heads up on what to work on. If they get paddled for the scam though that is fine by me.
If theycarry the answers into the exam room that would be cheating.

ivor


Marshall
squarecutter wrote: Years back for GCE's we practiced for exams by doing old exam essay questions the school kept, hoping that if the question came up again we could ace it.

I do recall that when taking GCE 'O' level history I was delighted to find that our teacher had predicted several of the questions that appeared. Very Happy

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MemoryMan


Sherrif
Jack wrote:
My only disagreement is that the boys seem to have known they were doing something wrong, else they wouldn't have hid what kind of 'project' they were doing.  That makes it hard for me to let them off without sore bottoms, but if they're convincing enough during the discussion, I'll let it ride this time.

Hmm!  Ye.e.s?  I think I'd substitute "suspected" for "known"  and that would relate to the entrepreneurial aspect of the operation. They were simply assisting their classmates with a time honoured method of revision ..... but only for cash.

There was no evidence they knew the actual questions would be coming up again this year.  The teacher concerned will now have to get off his butt and set some freshSHA questions at short notice .............SHAME Very Happy Very Happy

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Pi Beta


Deputy
Definitely the end of this little money-making exercise but they saw a gap in the market and exploited it. Recycling the exams isn't new but teachers should realise that younger brothers may have an advantage if their older siblings have stored, in whatever form, their old exam papers. Indeed, if they've been handed back marked, they could have the answers as well (if they were correct!).

It is up to the school to close this gap in its security. I cannot see any reason for any formal punishment - passing on old papers is a perfectly legitimate preparation for future exams and to practise upon.

What about the money they have earned? I don't see this as illegitimate earnings. My inclination is to suggest strongly that they tithe to some charity of their choice and bank the rest for when they come up with a new enterprise that will need start up funds. There's certainly no need for the money to be returned to their clients who got exactly the service they paid for.

Kat


Editor Extraordinaire
Though the scenario doesn't say so, I suspect the teacher has been collecting the exams after giving students an opportunity to see their papers. I had a couple of high school teachers who did this so that they could recycle exams. Yet someone in the past had always managed to get a copy of the paper before handing it back in. If that's the case, then the boys knew they were circumventing a system. I had a friend whose older sibling had managed to write down the test questions for a class, and I took full advantage of that without a single qualm of conscience.

So even if the boys had a sense of wrongdoing -- or let's say breaking a rule, which is not the same thing -- I wouldn't punish them, as the teacher's laziness is inexcusable. Tests should reflect what teachers teach, and that must vary from year to year, as classes have different ability levels, move at different paces, and get behind the syllabus because of unforeseen school issues; also, the curriculum changes periodically, along with textbooks and methodology. I can't imagine using an old exam as anything other than a starting point for designing a new one.

Kat

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