Mount Carmel High School has stopped grading take-home math homework after teachers discovered some students were copying answers from a website
Superintendent Tim Buss tells Eyewitness News he's not calling Mt. Carmel students cheaters. In fact he thinks most students who accessed the site were using it to help figure out problems. It was those who misused it that made teachers say enough is enough.
Nowadays online homework help is just a few keystrokes away and the sites are a dime a dozen. It's a website called "Slader" that has Mt. Carmel High School on homework lock down.
"It shows like step-by-step how to do every math problem," explains senior Trevor Hammond,
Slader.com allows users to view and share answers and work for high school textbooks. Teachers at Mt. Carmel recently became alarmed when they caught wind that answers to all the high school's math curriculum were just a few clicks away. The website also offers a free mobile application for iPhone users.
"The teachers are a lot stricter now on it," says freshman Sierra Brown. "Like we're not allowed to have our phones out or anything now."
MCHS sophomore Demi Beuligmann says she doesn't understand how the site works or how students found it, noting she doesn't use it and hasn't heard of any of her friends using it.
Administrators believe some students were using the site for homework help. Others who used Slader aced their homework but failed exams, suggesting some could be misusing it.
"It's not fair," says Beuligmann. "I don't think it's fair cause I do my work and I get good grades for it so I don't want other people getting good grades for something they didn't do."
"I thought it was fair," states Hammond. "It's the internet. We can use electronics and stuff, so why can't we just use a computer?"
Not knowing how widespread the problem might be, administrators decided to take a proactive approach by nixing grades on take-home homework. Teachers are instead relying on tests and in-class assignments to get a true picture of their classroom's comprehension. While many support the move others pose the question: The technology is there, so why not use it?
"I've had problems with math before. I just sometimes didn't do it," says Hammond. "If I knew this website was there, I would've used the website."
Buss says the corporation contacted the textbook publisher to make them aware of Slader.com. He says the publisher turned the issue over to its legal department.
The EVSC, South Gibson, Warrick, and Henderson School Corporations all acknowledge that websites like Slader exist, but tell Eyewitness News they have not had a major problem with them.