Cogito Ergo Scribo
2 min readNov 23, 2023


I'm a teacher.

This semester, I had a student, on a discussion board post in an Intro to Literature course, copy another student's posting and submit it as her own. She changed a word here and there, and in one paragraph, she changed the argument slightly, by changing a few words, but still using the other student's words and supporting material, quotes, from the text.

I failed the student for the course, because the plagiarism was so egregious, so blatant, and so brazen.

The student complained to administration about these consequences, and the administration backed her out of the class.

No consequences for the student.

In another class, I had a student, in writing a research paper, copied word for word from source material; however, she cited each source parenthetically, but no quotation marks (she used quotation marks when quoting her short story, so she knows to use them). In the first 2.5 pages of the essay, not a single word was her own, every single word cribbed from various sources and cleverly cobbled together to make coherent prose.

I failed this student for the assignment. She complained to administration. She was backed out of my course.

No consequences.

And no support for faculty. It's not surprising students and parents do not respect teachers.

Admin is in the customer service business, not the business of education.

I am a teacher and I concur: what schools are doing now is not teaching, and what students are doing in classes is not learning.

And, this is higher education, not K-12, but the culture and ethic is the same -- keep the enrollment, retention, persistence, and graduation numbers going up.

It's sick and twisted and this issue is almost NEVER discussed when we talk about the shortage of teachers in the system. Teachers are not leaving the profession because of money, although this is certainly an issue, it's because teachers are not supported or respected anywhere, not from students, who rightly think education is a joke, parents, who think the same, not administrators, who think teachers are the problem with education.

And, you're right: grades do not matter, the one piece of authority and control teachers used to have is gone. Everybody gets As and Bs. This is not teacher's fault. I learned very early on, if you give Johnny the grade he deserves, there's going to be a fight about. Students will complain, parents will call, and the teacher is going to spend an inordinate amount of nonsense time defending this evaluation, sitting in administrators' offices being dressed down and instructed by a nonteacher how the teacher might do their job better.

It's all a joke, folks, and that's coming from a teacher, and it's not getting better, only worse, which does not bode well for our schools, or society as a whole.