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Professor Says Anti-Cheating Rules Aren’t Fair to ‘Black and Latinx’ Students

University of Cincinnati instructor Antar A. Tichavakunda is a strong advocate for views regarding the rules governing pupils with particular coloring.

The professor wrote an article for Inside Higher Ed claiming darker individuals shouldn't be subject to the same rights as whites.

In “Let's Talk About Race and Academic Integrity,” he gives us the following statistics:

[In a study], Black and Asian…students reported being accused of plagiarism [twice that of] any other group… Further, Black students were the most likely to report being accused of cheating in college (9 percent of Black students reported being accused of cheating in a college course, compared to 6 percent of all students).

Thus, we should examine race in relation to “academic integrity.”

For those who aren't familiar:

Academic integrity is already about race. From the assumptions behind who looks like they are cheating to the punishments given for cheating to the technology that monitors cheating to what counts as cheating, the idea of academic integrity is racialized through and through.

Antar's position is the view that whites are the only ones who are racist. And the majority of white people are racist. He offers the instance of a black woman with whom he spoke during research for a book. She said she was the sole female student of her race in the class and that she never cheated. One time, she spotted someone attempting to copy her on an exam. She moved across the room, afraid that she'd end up being the one who was accused.

According to Antar, this proved an argument:

The measures she took…are telling. … Racist and sexist beliefs shape assumptions about who looks like they are cheating and who is likely to be believed in front of a non-Black instructor.

He criticizes anti-cheating software that “does not always accurately assess people who have darker skin.”

“As researchers such as Ruha Benjamin and Safiya Noble have demonstrated that code and algorithms that shape these technologies could perpetuate stereotypes and racial prejudices.”

In the midst of our thoughts on the academic integrity of our institutions, this author claims, “we can be too punitive.”

He wouldn't ding students for cheating.

I won’t be failing a student for one copy and paste too many when the option of a redirection and a resetting of expectations is right there. Often, the problem lies in pedagogy — not the student. A zero-tolerance policy around plagiarism or academic integrity can do more harm than good.

Inequity = Intolerance = Inequity:

“If zero-tolerance educational policies have taught us anything, it is that they tend to disproportionately harm Black and Latinx students. The same goes for academic integrity policies.”

It seems whitey sets the rules, and he's bigoted and bold:

“The people who make the decisions about which transgressions are forgivable and which transgressions are necessary to report and punish do not exist in a race-neutral vacuum.”

The interrogation is on the agenda:

“Decision makers, from faculty members to student conduct officers, hold beliefs about identity that—if uninterrogated—could potentially be racist and discriminatory.”

The instructor also states “from experience” that white sororities and fraternities “sometimes have test banks that members can use.”

The instructor’s takeaway:

“Some students take exams and do homework with unfair advantages. Collaborating or cheating on exams can adversely impact Black students at schools where they are in the extreme minority.”

It appears that everyone cheats. However, blacks are less likely to succeed because of racism.

[O]ne woman told me about the school of engineering, “There is rampant cheating, which is why [during exams] the white people sit with the white people. And the Asians sit where the Asians sit.” For Black students, who were usually one of few or the only one in their classes, it would be harder to collaborate on tests even if they wanted to. Access to unfair academic advantages that some might consider academically dishonest is shaped by race.

The conclusion: “‘Academic' integrity and ‘academic honesty' are fraught terms. [W]e need to come to terms with the fact that discourses and policies around academic integrity are not race-neutral.”

Is Antar’s method of education feasible? Whatever happens, it is an invitation to our development.

In the school system, just like in America, there was once the concept of earned success. It was actually celebrated as an attribute of the most successful country on Earth.

So far as I am able to discern, these days are long gone.

Actually, to suggest that certain races shouldn't be expected to be competitive was at one time considered… racist.

It's a brand new world that is full of codes in a nation that is increasingly colored-coded.

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