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Companies And Charities Are Whitewashing Cheating
13-05-2021, 06:41 AM
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Companies And Charities Are Whitewashing Cheating
Companies And Charities Are Whitewashing Cheating

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The Varkey Foundation is a large education-focused charity based in London, founded by Indian businessman Sunny Varkey. The foundation awards the annual $1 million Global Teacher Prize, which used to be the largest award in education. It partners with the likes of UNESCO and the Clinton Global Initiative.

So it’s jarring to see the Varkey Foundation partnering with Chegg—perhaps the largest provider of academic cheating. Chegg and Varkey are hosting a “Global Student Summit” tomorrow, and Sunny Varkey is scheduled to give opening remarks.

Curiously, with the exception of a “writer and activist” who’s also a Ph.D. student, the student summit does not seem to include any students. But that’s merely annoying.

The troubling parts are that Varkey has decided to embrace Chegg and that the published list of summit speakers includes people from schools such as Carnegie Mellon University, Harvard Business School, Dartmouth College, University of Oxford, and University of Helsinki - all of whom are willing to share the stage with a company that literally sells answers to homework and test questions.

For example, Chegg has a paid feature that lets students get answers to questions they submit with their cellphone cameras - snap a photo of the question and, for a fee, Chegg will send you the answer “in as little as 30 mins.”

It’s pretty easy to go on about Chegg. But it’s also pointless. Nearly everyone in academia knows what they do and the threat they are to academic integrity.

It might be possible to dismiss the “summit” as the kind of thing someone agreed to without doing their diligence. But the Chegg/Varkey partnership is deeper than this single virtual event. According to an April press release from the San Jose Sharks of the NHL (which inexplicably joined up with the cheating company to hand out scholarships), Chegg is launching a $50,000 “Chegg.org Global Student Prize” which it says is “the first-ever sister-prize” to Varkey’s “Global Teacher Prize.” With that level of intertwinement, it’s implausible that no one at Varkey googled Chegg or asked a single professor.

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Companies And Charities Are Whitewashing Cheating - miniming - 13-05-2021 06:41 AM

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