In Response to “Remote Learning Led to Rampant Cheating” by the New York Post
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The New York Post published an article titled “Remote Learning Led to Rampant Cheating at NYC’s Stuyvesant High School”, by Selim Algar, on Tuesday, February 1. The article repurposed four quotes (as seen above) from “Is Stuyvesant’s Cheating Culture Untreatable?” in Volume CXII, Issue 9, of The Spectator, by Olivia Woo and Millie Bell, and included three anonymous interviews from a 2021 graduate, a teacher, and a current junior at Stuyvesant.
The title of the Post’s article indicates its intention to scandalize Stuyvesant with no clear provocation. The article published in The Spectator investigated the psychological underpinnings of Stuyvesant’s culture during remote learning and how these could be addressed. The Post’s article, however, attempted to construe a narrative of just another “Stuyvesant” name-brand cheating scandal.
We find the Post’s accusations of rampant academic dishonesty especially ironic given that their article is essentially a net of exaggerations taken from The Spectator’s article. Remote learning did not cause “routine cheating.” Students quoted in The Spectator’s article did not state that “distance learning made cutting corners a breeze” or utilize the phrases “scholastic skullduggery” or “academic chicanery.” These accusations are misled and convoluted.
As a high school paper, we identify issues endemic to our school and write about them in order to unearth deeper complexities that may not be immediately apparent. The Post twisted this article in order to sensationalize cheating as a Stuyvesant-specific problem and to smear the name of our school. Remote learning did make cheating more common, but this was the case across several schools. If The Post had written about the rise in cheating across various New York schools and used a quote or two from The Spectator, the article would have been more appropriate. However, the targeting of Stuyvesant was uncalled for and disrespectful toward our school.
Additionally, the article itself demonstrates poor journalism. The Post used four of The Spectator’s quotes and then conducted three additional interviews, all of which were anonymous. The Post’s article is also plagued with typos, with phrases like “others students” and “ranks as of the country’s premier public high schools.” Although The Post does cite The Spectator, the reference is only included indirectly with the phrase “according to a report.” The other links consist of tangentially related articles that do not support the article’s already minimal original content.
The Spectator will not idly sit by and tolerate our articles being stolen and misconstrued for catchy headlines used to target our school. There are constructive ways to cover cheating; the Post’s track record continuously frames cheating as a Stuyvesant-exclusive issue. We would like to extend this advice to The Post and other news publications: stop fixating on our school and start covering issues that fall outside of the range of a student publication.