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

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Intermittent clouds
Intermittent clouds
73°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
August 15
1849 - Eight-pound gold nugget found in San Feliciano Canyon (Val Verde/Piru area) [story]


You Know I'm Right | Commentary by Betty Arenson
| Friday, Feb 21, 2014

bettyarensonThe underlying story is as follows:

Corona del Mar High School in Orange County is reputed as one of California’s top schools. It is part of Newport-Mesa School District with about 2,200 students, of whom 99 percent go on to college. Among other perks, the atmosphere allows an enjoyment of private tutoring.

Unfortunately, one Timothy Lance Lai has surfaced as a tutor-gone-bad, and the scandal’s fallout has tainted the school’s reputation.

Reports in the Los Angeles Times and Orange County Register tell of a scheme set in motion by Lai to attach key loggers to teachers’ computers wherein “students changed grades and accessed English, science and history exams, some at the honors and Advanced Placement levels.”

The matter came to light when a teacher noted possible tampering of her computer and grades. The subject is serious enough for the Newport Beach Police Department to investigate. Indications are that they might seek felony counts. Since Lai worked with as many as 150 students, the district is auditing 52,000 student grades of the past year.

Students are being interviewed, but Lai cannot be found.

A neighboring high school parent said: “This isn’t run-of-the-mill cheating. … This was premeditated, sophisticated and ongoing.” She opines that the students should not be allowed to transfer to other schools, in order to send a strong message about the cheating.

School administrators have expelled 11 students. Administrator Jane Garland believes the expulsions are too broad-brush and has resigned. Reportedly, some students were involved in picking locks to enter classrooms while others simply knew of the cheating but did not report it. Garland called Lai a “predator” and said, “the students had varying levels of involvement, ranging from breaking into the school to merely knowing about the hacking scheme.”

One parent wrote an anonymous letter to the principal, stating that her son had not altered his grades, but claimed the school has a broader “culture of cheating” that is not being addressed. “I would suggest you look at some your smartest students who are doing ‘tutoring’ for other CdM students,” the letter said. “It is these ‘smartest students’ who are getting paid to do assignments, write papers and take online tests for other students. CdM’s atmosphere of cheating goes far beyond the students you have marginalized.”

The expelled students will be allowed to transfer to other high schools, but they and the Corona del Mar High school are faced with whether the events will be or should be revealed to any potential college. Opinions range from one end of the scale to the other.

High schools fear being sued by parents if they reveal the transgressions, while they simultaneously fear ruining relationships with colleges by not disclosing same. One dean of admissions said: “Most selective institutions have long memories.”

David Hawkins, director of public policy and research for the national Association of College Admissions Counseling, claims high schools are responsible for disclosing “serious infractions” to colleges even after a student has been accepted. The University of Washington’s director of undergraduate admissions, Philip. A. Ballinger, said self-reporting is a positive act and the student has a chance to explain him- or herself with the hope that the action would be seen as “singular” rather than habitual.

It’s a common thought that a mid-year transfer to another high school, especially in the junior and senior years, raises a red flag.

Overall it seems, in general, that college admissions personnel believe honesty is the best policy. With no pun intended, isn’t that what got this whole thing started in the first place?

For starters, an upper-scale, highly regarded school is tainted along with all students, and it will take great efforts to overcome that.

In the end, with what is known to date, let alone if the one parent’s claims of cheating on a broader scale is proven, what should be the price of taking part in a cheating episode of this magnitude?

If prudence reigns it would seem reasonable to 1) assess each party’s involvement individually; 2) expel the active participants; 3) establish a school district policy that mandates reporting cheating to school officials with identity protection – akin to whistle-blowing; 4) file charges for the illegal acts of breaking and entering, etc.; 5) allow transfer to other schools with full disclosure; and 6) establish district policy telling all parents and students that misconduct will have x-y-z consequences and will be disclosed to any and all future learning institutions.

Most of all, let’s hope no parent decides to sue the high school district for telling the truth about little Johnny or Susie. That would be a bad lesson learned.

 

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
Thursday, Aug 2, 2018
City Manager Ken Striplin notes that a lot has changed in Santa Clarita since the 1970s, except the SCV Sheriff's Station, which opened 46 years ago and will finally be replaced by a brand-new 46,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art, centrally located Sheriff’s Station on Golden Valley Road.
Wednesday, Aug 1, 2018
​There are many things that make our City the unique and special place it is.
Monday, Jul 2, 2018
In her July message, Santa Clarita Mayor Laurene Weste wishes residents a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July, and recaps a bit of local history.
Sunday, Jul 1, 2018
The Mojave rattlesnake or “Mojave green” is a highly irritable and unpredictable pit viper. By comparison, the Pacific rattlesnake you might be accustomed to is fairly tame.
Friday, Jun 15, 2018
Your rights guarantee that you get the health services the law says you can get, protect you against unethical practices, and ensure the privacy of your personal and medical information. You have the right to be treated with dignity and respect at all times, and to be protected from discrimination.
Friday, Jun 15, 2018
California voters just bought the feel-good tax proposition that was stated to raise yet another $4 billion for “clean water” funds. Days later, Brown declared it isn’t enough. There will be another ballot measure in November to raise another $8 billion.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1849 - Eight-pound gold nugget found in San Feliciano Canyon (Val Verde/Piru area) [story]
Here is a list of Santa Clarita arts-related events for Aug. 15 - Aug. 17:
Aug. 15-17: Santa Clarita Arts Calendar
Walk season is quickly approaching, and it's time to turn up the heat in the fight to end Alzheimer's.
Walk to End Alzheimer’s Offers up New Challenge
Twelve people are challenging incumbent Mayor Laurene Weste, Mayor Pro-tem Marsha McLean and Councilman Bill Miranda in the upcoming November 6 election. They are:
List of Candidates Running for City Council Released
As always with the schools, there is going to be congestion twice per day with the drop off and pick up of students. Drivers need to be extra patient in these areas to help traffic flow.
SCV Sheriff’s Offer Back to School Safety Tips
The Valley Industry Association will be holding its, "Hot August Nights Party," on Thursday, Aug. 23, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. for a night of fun, friends and a little business.
Aug. 23: Valley Industry Association’s Hot August Nights Party
Your personal brand is the engine of a successful career. Having a strong online presence can lead to new jobs and career opportunities.
COC’s Community Education to Hold Personal Branding Workshop
The Canyon Country Advisory Committee (CCAC) will hold their next meeting Wednesday, Aug. 15 from 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Aug. 15: Canyon Country Advisory Committee Meeting
Santa Clarita RE/MAX Realtor Josh Sinatra, of Sinatra Real Estate, spearheads back-to-school donation drive to help people in need.
Local Realtor Hosting Shoe Donation Drive for People in Need
Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital is pleased to announce that Logix Federal Credit Union has generously stepped forward to sponsor a palliative care teddy bear program at the hospital to help children feel supported and comforted when faced with the passing of a parent.
Logix Steps Forward to Help Henry Mayo’s Palliative Bear Program
The Santa Clarita Valley Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) actively encourages parents or community members who know of a child (birth to age 22) who may have special needs to contact their local school district office.
SCV School Districts Providing Services for Special Needs Students
The WiSH Education Foundation is thrilled to announce that its fourth annual signature event, Cocktails on the Roof, is back on Sept. 7, 2018. The event runs from 8:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Sept. 7:  Cocktails on the Roof Benefiting WiSH Foundation
Here is the Newhall Public Safety and Crime Information Report for July 30, 2018 - Aug. 5, 2018:
Crime Blotter: Petty Theft, Commercial Burglary in Newhall
RANCHO CUCAMONGA – After sweeping Rancho Cucamonga in Lancaster last weekend, the JetHawks were swept by the Quakes at LoanMart Field after falling Sunday afternoon, 5-2. The JetHawks scored the first two runs of the game, but were held to just three hits after.
Quakes Sweep JetHawks
The next regular meeting of the Governing Board of the William S. Hart Union High School District is Wednesday, Aug. 15, at the Administrative Center, 21380 Centre Pointe Parkway, Santa Clarita 91350.
Aug. 15: Hart District Governing Board Regular Meeting
Here is the Valencia Public Safety & Crime Information Report for July 23, 2018 - Aug. 5, 2018:
Crime Blotter: Burglary, Robbery, Grand Theft in Valencia
RANCHO CUCAMONGA – Matt Dennis set a career-high with 11 strikeouts, but Lancaster fell to Rancho Cucamonga, 3-1, Saturday night at LoanMart Field. Dennis took the loss despite allowing only two runs in six innings.
JetHawks Fall to Rancho Cucamonga
Here is the Stevenson Ranch Public Safety and Crime Information Report for July 27, 2018 - Aug. 2, 2018:
Crime Blotter: Petty Theft, Domestic Violence in Stevenson Ranch
Saugus High School’s cheerleading squads are hosting a cheer clinic fundraiser Sept. 23 that will teach cheer skills to kindergartners through eighth graders, who will then have an opportunity to cheer the first quarter of a Saugus varsity football game in October.
Sept. 23: Saugus High Cheer Squads Hosting Youth Clinic
1986 - Canyon Country's Mitchell adobe demolished; components salvaged & later rebuilt at Heritage Junction [story]
The historic Big Oaks Lodge on Bouquet Canyon Road in Saugus, destroyed by fire late Saturday night and early Sunday morning, probably cannot be rebuilt at its current location because of permit and code requirements, Angeles National Forest officials said Monday.
Forest Service Unlikely to OK New Big Oaks Lodge in Same Spot
The Lancaster JetHawks saw their six-game win streak come to an end in a 7-4 loss to the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes on Friday night at LoanMart Field.
JetHawks Streak Snapped in Loss to Quakes Friday
The city of Santa Clarita has updated the list of productions shooting in the city and the Santa Clarita Valley the week of Aug. 13-19, 2018.
‘Santa Clarita Diet,’ ‘America’s Got Talent’ Now Filming in SCV
The Los Angeles County West Vector Control District and the County Department of Public Health have confirmed that a mosquito sample collected in Playa Vista is the first positive for the St. Louis Encephalitis virus in the county for 2018.
St. Louis Encephalitis Virus Found in LA County Mosquitoes
1961 - First Mass celebrated at new Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church (3rd building) in Newhall. Cardinal McIntyre attends [story]
A fire broke out inside the historic Big Oaks Lodge in Bouquet Canyon late Saturday night, and by early Sunday, the popular 2-story wooden restaurant building was gone.
Witness: Kitchen Fire Destroys Big Oaks Lodge in Bouquet Canyon (Video)
1944 - Newhall Refinery on Sierra Highway destroyed by fire (then rebuilt) [watch film]
2018 - Big Oaks Lodge in Bouquet Canyon burns down. [video]
The Los Angeles Dodgers placed All-Star closer Kenley Jansen on the 10-day disabled list with an irregular heartbeat and recalled switch-handed pitcher Pat Venditte from Triple-A Oklahoma City on Friday.
Irregular Heartbeat Lands Dodgers Closer Kenley Jansen on DL
The Los Angeles Dodgers Friday announced that fans 21 years of age and older will be able to purchase beer from in-seat vendors at Dodger Stadium starting at Monday’s 7:10 p.m. game against the San Francisco Giants.
Dodgers to Start In-Seat Beer Service Monday
The historic Rim of the Valley Corridor may be added to the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area if a U.S. Senate Energy Committee subcommittee moves to approve legislation authored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California).
Senate May Add Rim of Valley Corridor to Santa Monica Mountains Rec Area
A San Francisco jury on Friday found that Monsanto must pay $250 million in punitive damages to a school groundskeeper because its Roundup weed killer caused his fatal lymphoma, the first such verdict against the agrochemical giant.
Jury: Roundup Kills More Than Weeds; Monsanto Must Pay $289 Mil.
A federal judge Friday praised the joint plan by federal officials and the American Civil Liberties Union to quickly reunite families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border under President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy.
Judge Praises Feds’ Plan to Reunite Immigrant Families
The Los Angeles Dodgers reinstated right-handed pitcher Ross Stripling from the 10-day disabled list and optioned switch-handed pitcher Pat Venditte to Triple-A Oklahoma City on Thursday.
Dodgers Reinstate Hurler Ross Stripling
The next meeting of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is set for Tuesday, Aug. 14, starting at 9:30 a.m.
Aug. 14: LA County Board of Supervisors Meeting
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and The Linux Foundation on Friday launched the Academy Software Foundation to provide a neutral forum for open source software developers in the motion picture and broader media industries.
AMPAS, Linux Launch Academy Software Foundation