[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Clear
Clear
82°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
October 16
1853 - Sarah Gifford, community leader and wife of Newhall's first railroad station agent, born in England [story]


You Know I'm Right | Commentary by Betty Arenson
| Friday, Aug 9, 2013

bettyarensonIt’s a way of life.

Cheating, that is.

For years, I watched my parents’ reactions to a changing world – a world not necessarily changing for the better.

Like my parents, I had a Midwestern upbringing.  Rural – very rural – then transplanted to a small town.

It was a world of live-off-of-the-land.  We were poor, yet we were wealthy in many intangible ways.

With this environment came a seemingly inherent mindset that one pulled his own weight, learned responsibility at an early age, knew the definition of shame, and proudly knew that one’s handshake was his word. Cheating was never a consideration.

We were in a geography free of contracts but for major purchases such as a home or car, and it was absent of lawyers.

In sum, my dad never understood, to his dying day, how anyone could abuse one’s character by being a cheater.

Cheating is pervasive, pernicious to the soul, and worst of all – popular.

Cheating makes you a liar.

It is rampant in our environment. One only has to look at the cultures of sports and academia.

You want to be famous, make millions of dollars and get your name in the record books?  Take illegal drugs to enhance your body’s strength and stamina.  Then smile for the cameras, act like a role model and lie.  It’s OK. Your agent and attorney will support you in the sham.

It is unlikely that your coach or team or league will care much, as everyone has something to gain – be it game attendance or accolades for the school or the game in general.

Of course, once the subject reaches the level of a national scandal, then the appropriate parties take to the microphones and shake their heads woefully about how discussions will take place to punish the errant ones.

That would-be punishment – like a slap on the hand (and a wink) not to play for a few games that cost mere pennies when stacked up against a $275 million contract.

The system seems to be a stranger to a consideration of something called a lifetime ban, along with a big, bold asterisk by the offenders’ names in the record books. As if they should be on the list at all.

Think Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, Lance Armstrong, David Ortiz, Mo Vaughn or recently, A-Rod.  And this is only a partial list.

Do you want the world to think you’re smart, or pass those tests, or get into that savored college? Cheat. More than likely, your parents will level the same severity of punishment the school will.  None.

Perhaps students really don’t have to cheat at all. There is a good possibility that your teacher, principal or superintendent will cover that for you.

So is the case in multiple Georgia counties.

In Atlanta Public Schools, an investigation of 2009 exam results “revealed widespread cheating among teachers on state standardized tests in various ways, including erasing wrong answers on students’ multiple choice answer sheets and replacing them with correct ones.” The report implicated 178 educators at almost 80 percent of 56 elementary schools.

The APS superintendent at time was Beverly Hall. She later retired, and the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported that Hall’s lawyer said she “most definitely did not know of any widespread cheating.”

Is that lawyer-ese parsing of words that she knew about the cheating, but on a bit smaller scale?

When a probe into elementary schools Cobb, Dougherty and Fulton counties by Kathleen Mathers, then-director of the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement, revealed massive cheating, Mathers was threatened by former school district superintendent James Wilson.

The Huffington Post reported Wilson said: “You’ll pay dearly for it. … I’d love to help you, but if you really believe in an erasure analysis this strongly, that is the right way to do this. … I have a decision to make based on how we finish this conversation and where I go from here. And remember, I’m the old guy, I have nothing to lose. … I’m not going to give you any threats, but let me tell you, I can get there.”

The Huffington Post also reported that the Dougherty County School investigation report “tells stories of teachers who indicated correct answers to students while administering exams and a principal who ordered teachers to change answers. A broader culture that threatened teachers with public humiliation for low test scores and rewarded them with fat bonuses for high ones.”

With cheating and lying so commonplace, how would we, as a society, ever return to the days when pride of self and the loathing of shame was the norm?

I say the masses will not, but individually we can.

Our individual face is what we see when we look in the mirror, and it’s the one that is tied to our hearts and souls.

I, for one, will take the high road any day and leave the alternative choice to the soulless malcontents.

Count me among the ones who prefer to sleep well at night.

 

Betty Arenson has lived in the SCV since 1968 and describes herself as a conservative who’s concerned about progressives’ politics and their impacts on the country, her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She says she is unashamed to own a gun or a Bible, couldn’t care less about the color of the president’s skin, and demands that he uphold his oath to protect and follow the Constitution of the United States in its entirety. Her commentary publishes Fridays.

 

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


Opinion Section Policy
All opinions and ideas are welcome. Factually inaccurate, libelous, defamatory, profane or hateful statements are not. Your words must be your own. All commentary is subject to editing for legibility. There is no length limit, but the shorter, the better the odds of people reading it. "Local" SCV-related topics are preferred. Send commentary to: LETTERS (at) SCVNEWS.COM. Author's full name, community name, phone number and e-mail address are required. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses are not published except at author's request. Acknowledgment of submission does not guarantee publication.
Read More From...
RECENT COMMENTARY
Tuesday, Oct 10, 2017
It was 10 years ago this fall semester that we opened the Canyon Country Campus on Sierra Highway. We are celebrating a decade of academic excellence and community impact. What a difference a decade makes.
Tuesday, Oct 3, 2017
The Trump budget proposes decreasing funding to the Department of the Interior by $1.5 billion. Trump is calling for more drilling in national parks and monuments. He plans to open BLM land to drilling and fracking.
Tuesday, Oct 3, 2017
We are quickly approaching the culmination of the year-long celebration of our city’s 30th anniversary. It is truly a time to celebrate all the hard work, dedication, perseverance and passion that took our City from being a tiny portion of Los Angeles County to the thriving third largest city in the county.
Tuesday, Oct 3, 2017
This month marks an exciting milestone for the premier arts and entertainment district in Santa Clarita.
Friday, Sep 29, 2017
Kaepernick has never spoken of personally experiencing any negative interactions with the police. Appearances are he had a pretty nice life provided by people with white skin while living in a country that presented him with obvious, mind-boggling opportunities.
Thursday, Sep 28, 2017
Despite its close proximity to the city of Barstow, Rainbow Basin remains virtually undiscovered. It is well worth a visit. Visitors to the area can find scenic opportunities for hiking, rock scrambling, camping, photography, sightseeing and horseback riding.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, Governor Brown signed off on a new bill that will change local water retailers distribute water in SCV. Plus, a spicy and savory Saturday for charity. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Monday, October 16, 2017
The Newhall School District's next Regular Board Meeting is Tuesday, October 17 at 6:15 p.m., and consideration of Newhall Family Theater approvals are on the agenda.
Oct. 17: Newhall School District Considers Newhall Family Theater OK
Master’s and Westmont College needed more than 90 minutes again Saturday to settle a Golden State Athletic Conference showdown in Santa Barbara.
Master’s Men Soccer Players Fall to Westmont in OT
Leaders from the CLWA and NCWC will meet in October, November and December to discuss their merger, which creates the Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency as of Jan. 1.
Next Step: Water Agency Officials to Share Merger Details
Master’s women soccer players and coaches alike were adamant after Saturday’s top-10 matchup that Westmont’s 5-2 win wasn’t nearly as lopsided as the score suggests.
Westmont Tops Master’s Women’s Soccer 5-2
Although Friday the 13th is a day generally associated with bad luck, CalArts turned the superstition on its ear as the community celebrated the inauguration of its fourth president, Ravi S. Rajan.
CalArts Inaugurates Ravi S. Rajan as Fourth President
CalArts School of Theater faculty Janie Geiser brings her collage film program "Double Vision" to REDCAT in downtown Los Angeles on Monday, Oct. 16 at 8:30 p.m.
Oct 16: ‘Double Vision’: Recent Films by Janie Geiser at REDCAT
The promising signs the Mustangs showed in their Missouri opener paid off in the evening Friday when Master’s women’s volleyball picked up its first road win of the season.
Master’s Rallies on the Road, Nets Season’s First Win
College of the Canyons' women's volleyball team opened Western State Conference play in style, as the Cougars swept visiting West L.A. College in straight sets.
No. 11 Canyons Sweeps West L.A. at the Cougar Cage
Route 66 Classic Grill in Canyon Country will host a fundraiser for local victims of the October 1 Las Vegas shootings on Saturday, October 28, from noon to 4 p.m.
Oct. 28: Route 66 Hosts Benefit for Las Vegas Shooting Victims
A roundup of the Santa Clarita arts-related events for Oct. 16-20, 2017.
Oct. 16-20: Santa Clarita Arts Upcoming Events
The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce's October mixer is set for Wednesday, October 18 at Atria Senior Living in Newhall starting at 5:30 p.m.
Oct. 18: SCV Chamber October Mixer at Atria
The Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley will host a series of "Great Futures" tours for local residents in an effort to get the word out about the club's programs and services.
SCV Boys & Girls Club Hosts ‘Great Futures’ Tours
A special meeting of the Santa Clarita City Council, the Planning Commission, the Parks, Recreation and Communnity Services Commission, the Arts Commission, and the Open Space Preservation District Financial Accountability and Audit Panel is set for Tuesday, October 17 at City Hall.
Oct. 17: Harassment, Abusive Conduct Prevention Training for City Officials
The Hart Indians outscored the Canyon Cowboys 35-18 at Harry Welch Stadium Friday, October 13, in the teams' 50th matchup, and Kevin Karzin, president of the SCV Photographers Association, contributed photos from the game.
Photo Gallery: Hart Indians Beat Canyon Cowboys 35-18
Gov. Brown has vetoed a President Donald Trump-inspired proposal that would have required presidential candidates to release their tax returns in order to appear on the statewide ballot.
Brown Vetoes Bill Requiring Candidates Release Tax Returns
Gov. Jerry Brown signed a series of bills on Sunday calling for criminal justice reforms, including reduction of penalties for some gun and drug crimes and changes to the Megan's Law sex offender registry.
Brown Signs Bills for Criminal Justice Reforms
1853 - Sarah Gifford, community leader and wife of Newhall's first railroad station agent, born in England [story]
With the stroke of his pen Sunday, Gov. Jerry Brown eliminated the Castaic Lake Water Agency and Newhall County Water District and replaced them with a new water agency for the Santa Clarita Valley.
Brown Signs Wilk Bill Merging SCV Water Agencies
1939 - Second, larger OLPH Catholic Church dedicated on site of first (10th & Walnut, Newhall) [story]
Santa Clarita-based Princess Cruises celebrated the New York premiere of “Born to Dance,” the latest offering from its first-of-its-kind partnership with award-winning composer Stephen Schwartz and famed director/creator Daniel C. Levine.
Princess Cruises Celebrates NY Premiere of ‘Born to Dance’ With Schwartz, Levine
1980 - Phillies beat Royals in Game 1 of World Series; Hart grad Bob Walk is winning pitcher [story]
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honored 17 student winners from colleges and universities around the world at the 44th Student Academy Awards ceremony in Beverly Hills Thursday night.
Medalists Revealed at 2017 Student Academy Awards
The Los Angeles Dodgers will play host to the Chicago Cubs in Game 1 of the 2017 NLCS at Dodger Stadium on Saturday starting at 5:08 p.m.
National League Championships Open at Dodger Stadium Saturday
Santa Clarita ranks No. 5 among Los Angeles County's 88 cities in the assessed value of all taxable real property and business personal property, according to the 2017 Annual Report released by County Assessor Jeffrey Prang today.
Santa Clarita No. 5 Highest Valued City in LA County
The U.S. Attorney’s Office, the FBI, and a coalition of other law enforcement agencies and community organizations will host the 9th Annual Cyber Crime Prevention Symposium in downtown Los Angeles on Monday, October 16 from 8:25 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.
Oct. 16: Cyber Crime Symposium for Educators, Parents, Students
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, locals found out what it is like to be a school principal. Plus, there are some great events to head out to this weekend. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Friday, October 13, 2017
Starting Monday night, Oct. 16, the California Department of Transportation will paint new temporary lanes on a section of Interstate 5 aka the Golden State Freeway in and near the city of Santa Clarita.
New Temporary Lanes Coming Monday on Interstate 5 in SCV
The William S. Hart Union High School District is looking for someone to become a personnel commissioner to serve a three-year term beginning December 1, 2017.
Hart District Seeks Personnel Commissioner for Classified Employees
The College of the Canyons baseball program and Playa Vista Orioles youth baseball organization will host a free instructional clinic for players ages 11-14 at COC's Cougar Field in Valencia on Saturday, Oct. 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Oct. 21: COC Baseball, Playa Vista Orioles Youth Classic
An alumna of the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley, Cinthya Medrano, is the first recipient of a Duane R. Harte Memorial Scholarship.
Cinthya Medrano Earns First Duane R. Harte Memorial Scholarship
The non-profit Santa Clarita Coalition has created a Facebook page to aid the Evans family after the mother of six children died in a car crash on Golden Valley Road.
Facebook Page Created to Aid Evans Family
The Golden State Gateway Coalition, a non-profit transportation education and advocacy organization based in Santa Clarita, has published the fall 2017 edition of its newsletter, "Interchange."
Golden State Gateway Coalition Issues Fall 2017 Newsletter
The Castaic Lake Water Agency's Budget and Rates Committee is scheduled to meet on Tuesday, October 17 at 5:30 p.m.
Oct. 17: CLWA Budget and Rates Committee Meeting
A "Tip-a-Cop" fundraiser for the Special Olympics Santa Clarita Valley is set for the Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews restaurant in Valencia on Thursday, October 19, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Oct. 19: Tip-a-Cop at Red Robin for Special Olympics SCV
California Governor Jerry Brown declared a statewide hepatitis A outbreak on Friday, and the L.A. County Department of Public Health is on the case.
Governor Brown Declares Statewide Hepatitis A Outbreak