I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Friday, October 24, 2014

A Spectacular, Unprecedented Lapse in Ethics....

......But no coverage of this huge story on the evening news broadcasts....why not?

The University of North Carolina cheating scandal is unprecedented in size and in terms of the duration of the offenses.  The scheme also included many accomplices in the schools administrative ranks.  According to this Forbes article, the scandal began in the early 90s during the dominant basketball years of coach Dean Smith--although Smith was not personally implicated.

Allegedly, 9 staffers from the University will be fired.  We'll see if that really happens.

Locally we have recently seen the lengths folks will go to in order to field competitive teams. Rules will be broken and liberties will be taken in order to win. And we've seen other college scandals before revolving around athletics.  I wonder if thorough examinations were made at all the universities in the country-if similar sorts of schemes would be found all over the place?

Pretty sad but I bet this is common.  At least UNC decided to take a deep dive on this to get to the bottom of it.

From the Forbes article:

"As delineated in the 131-page report, the cheating regime was overseen by former Department of African and Afro-American (AFAM) studies chair, Julius Nyang’oro, professor of record for many of the bogus courses (including a laughable 300 independent study courses per year). The scheme was implemented by Nyango’oro’s assistant Deborah Crowder, a nonacademic in charge of creating and grading the phantom classes.  The report notes that, often, the only requirement for students participating in the “shadow curriculum” was to submit one paper (usually plagiarized) per class. Technically labeled “lecture classes” to circumvent UNC’s limit on “independent study” courses (an easier way to enable academic fraud), these classes involved zero lectures, zero work and zero attendance. Instead, they were known around campus as “paper classes.”


Anonymous said...

Jeremy Lowery is one of very few full time paid Escambia Virtual Teachers. Why is he additionally being paid a stipend for the number of students who complete each course he teaches when he is already paid a salary for that very purpose? This type irregularities have been going on for a while here.

Jeff Bergosh said...

Anonymous-so far as I understand the issue---virtual teachers like Mr. Lowery are paid for the successful completion of the courses on a piece-meal basis. I don't think they draw a full salary to boot. I'll look into this, though, and report back what I find to this blog.

Jeff Bergosh said...

Anonymous, I asked the question and was provided the following answer.

Answer: There are four (4) full time teachers who work in our Escambia Virtual Academy. Mr. Lowery is one of the four full time teachers. These full time teachers receive a regular teacher salary. Each of these four teachers teach approximately 135 full time EVA students. They work their regular teacher hours (8:00 - 3:30) with the full time students enrolled in their course(s). Mr. Lowery teaches math. These teachers do not receive the "completion rate" of $130 for the full time students they teach.

Are all of these instructors paid the same way?

Answer: The four full time instructors are all paid the same way, as previously described.

The particular assertion about Mr. Lowery was that he was being paid a full salary and he was getting the per student completion pay as well. Is that true?

Answer: Mr. Lowery, like any other full time teacher in the district, can (and does) choose to also work as a part time EVA instructor. As a part time instructor, he teaches physical education to approximately 40 students. Part time instructors work from 4-8 PM with their students, which is outside of their regular, full time work hours. For the part time student who successfully completes a course, the teacher receives $130.