Colleen Wenke expresses her concern for the moral future of our country through her essay “Too Much Pressure”, which explains the rapid increase in students that cheat. She explains that over the years the number of cheating students has risen, while their moral ethics and beliefs in integrity have almost diminished. Wenke writes “I blamed our school system for not instilling the proper values in its students”, and goes on to further discuss how cheating had become acceptable as long as you are not caught.
Schools seem to be putting a much higher standard on achieving high grades rather than the actual value of retaining the material taught. Regardless of being raised by parents who find cheating a moral corruption; somehow these students find it easy to set aside what is morally correct for a better grade. “In high school I always felt at a disadvantage, because everybody else was cheating and doing better than I was, even if only by a few points”, Wenke explains how giving in to cheating is the way to get the edge on others for that higher grade.
It appears that cheating has become so common that students barely hesitate. Trying to play sports, attend extra curricular activities and obtain the highest grades to get into the best schools, these overachievers set there values aside to obtain these goals. She tells us how students now are in desire of the best schools to obtain the highest paid careers. It has become second nature to share papers, copy homework, or use some type of cheating method to pass a test. Sacrificing any integrity to be the best and succeed.
The author shows us how cheating in school is not here it ends. These over achievers have made these immoral ways new habits in their lives. Habits that will obviously follow into careers that will place them on top of those goals they have set. Wenke’s concern is “they in turn are the ones who will be the ones running our country”, so what kind of morals and values will they then be governing with. Whether it is to get the better grade, to get into the best school, or to achieve the highest of goals, are we truly raising a successful generation or one that has merely created prosperous cheaters?
The author has clearly made a valid point of this unethical compromise of the rising leaders of our time. What kind of people will be making the crucial decisions for which they have been selected to make? It has obviously started in their early education with the lack of self integrity. These students have become numb to the morals they were taught. You can compare this to the story we were taught that one lie leads to another. In the beginning you feel as though one lie will resolve the situation.
Then before you know it, you have created a novel of lies to protect yourself to uphold the riginal lie. Now compare that to cheating and it is rather simple. You may have felt bad the first time but soon enough it becomes second nature. Your standards have then been lowered and the guilty conscious is no more. Those who are cheating for the better grade are the ones who will get into the best schools.
In turn they will cheat their way into the best programs to graduate of the highest honors. Is that truly an honor? They have used others and through betrayal become recognized under false pretenses. It is then easily foreseen that these individuals we be the ones who will be our bosses. They will work there way into leadership positions on the same corrupt ways they used to get where they are today.
This cheating has become an epidemic that will eventually cripple our society. Though once they had the best of intentions they sacrificed there integrity for success. In turn those who are envious will then follow with the same vicious cycle into a success that was granted under false pretenses.
- Wenke, Colleen “Too Much Pressure. ” The Bedford Reader Ed. X. J. Kennedy BostonBedford, 2006 532-536