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Victor Dorff
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Victor Dorff is an educator, an author, a journalist, and a lawyer. He has taught First Amendment law to journalism students at New York University, Freshman Writing at the University of Southern California, and methods for teaching elementary mathematics to education students at California Lutheran University. He wrote and produced network television news for ABC in New York, was on the launch team of Space.com, and was CNBC.com's first Executive Producer. He currently writes books and teaches mathematics at a public charter school in Southern California and is doing research into the creation and maintenance of a culture of academic integrity in secondary schools. With his wife, Lisa Sonne, he co-founded and runs Charity Checks, the nonprofit that created in 1999 the first Giving Certificates. He sees all these things as elements of the core principals that underlie our society – freedom, intellectual creativity, and personal responsibility for ourselves and for each other.

Entries by Victor Dorff

The Rise and Fall of the Berlin Wall

(0) Comments | Posted November 6, 2014 | 1:57 PM

Rethinking the Unthinkable

Twenty-five years ago this week, the unthinkable happened. On November 9, 1989, East Germany opened the gates, allowing its citizens to travel west. The people celebrated by beginning the process of pulling down the wall that had separated them from the "free world" for decades.


...

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Bonaire: Fantasy Island, For Real!

(0) Comments | Posted July 9, 2014 | 12:38 PM

For most visitors, a trip to the Caribbean island of Bonaire is all about the diving, but the culture Bonaire is building - both in and out of the water - deserves some attention, too. The people of this tiny island appear to have incorporated a passion for sustainability into...

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The Tea Party and the Common Core: Right Answer, Wrong Reason

(1) Comments | Posted May 29, 2014 | 11:31 AM

The new Common Core State Standards Initiative is getting a lot of attention, as states scramble to implement both the new instructional guidelines and the high-tech resources that will be required for the concurrent changes in testing.

These nationwide systemic changes have been moving rapidly with an ambitious...

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Luxury, Then and Now

(0) Comments | Posted April 24, 2014 | 4:21 PM

Thirty-five years ago, I enjoyed what I thought was the thrill of a lifetime when I flew the Concorde from London to the U.S. and made the trip in four hours. We flew twice the speed of sound at 60,000 feet, about half-again as high as conventional aircraft fly. Looking...

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A World Without Integrity

(1) Comments | Posted April 16, 2014 | 4:26 PM

The International Center for Academic Integrity has launched a contest that asks high school and college students to answer a provocative question: "What Would It Be Like To Live In A World Without Integrity?" The best response -- video or poster -- wins an iPad Mini.

Unfortunately,...

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Whom Do You Trust

(0) Comments | Posted September 23, 2013 | 8:30 PM

Nearly three-quarters of college students surveyed said that they would lie on their resumes to get a job they wanted. When the employment services company ADP checked employment, education, and credential information on resumes, it found discrepancies 46 percent of the time. Add that to the...

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Cheating [Is] the System

(0) Comments | Posted June 24, 2013 | 6:51 PM

"We are trapped in the exam hall," said the text message. "Students are smashing things and trying to break in."

Clearly, the annual college entrance tests were not going as planned.

This year, 54 proctors from around China had been brought in to Zhongxiang with a mission: Prevent...

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Cheating Teachers Teach Cheats

(1) Comments | Posted June 3, 2013 | 11:08 AM

In conversations on campus about academic integrity, people tend to focus on one of two elements in the effort to stop cheating. One camp tends to see the solution in more effective policing of tests and heavier punishment of those caught cheating. Another wants to focus on the "cause" of...

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Cheating -- It's Not Just for Kids

(0) Comments | Posted May 15, 2013 | 6:36 PM

There are more reminders, this week, that academic dishonesty is not the exclusive domain of students (as if we needed reminding). In South Korea, the SAT had to be cancelled -- nationwide -- after prosecutors discovered that companies offering tutoring services had unauthorized copies of tests and other...

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Desperate Kid Cheats Under Pressure -- What Else Is New?

(4) Comments | Posted April 16, 2013 | 3:42 PM

I caught a kid cheating on a quiz in class last week. It was all fairly routine, until we had the expected conversation about why he shouldn't have done it. That part should have been a pro-forma exercise for both of us, but his comments made me realize we have...

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Cheating in Atlanta: A Teachable Moment

(0) Comments | Posted April 7, 2013 | 6:42 PM

The Atlanta school cheating scandal involving teachers and administrators has prompted a series of public responses that echo an explanation/justification/excuse often used in the context of why students cheat: The stakes were high, and the cheaters felt there was no other way to succeed.

Undeniably, students are...

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Nevada Educators Block Integrity Effort

(1) Comments | Posted March 11, 2013 | 1:22 PM

The key to creating a culture of academic integrity in a high school environment is getting everyone in the community to agree that it is a priority. Nobody expects convincing the students to be an easy sell, but who would have thought that the adults in the education system would...

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Cheating = Treason?

(1) Comments | Posted February 27, 2013 | 6:49 PM

A recent news story out of China reveals that academic integrity is truly a global issue. The report also makes it clear that there will always be some desperate students who cheat, regardless of the severity of the penalty for getting caught.

Under Chinese criminal law, buying the...

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Lance Armstrong Is Right About One Thing

(9) Comments | Posted January 18, 2013 | 9:27 AM

The "Lance Armstrong Story" has the potential to become a classic American literary tragedy, on a par with "Death of a Salesman." His deceptions and self-denial, combined with his fame and status as hero/icon, make him a perfect leading character, both deeply flawed and a product of his time and...

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When Did Cheating Become a Controversial Topic?

(12) Comments | Posted January 9, 2013 | 4:15 PM

Perhaps I am delusional, but I seem to recall a time when everyone agreed that cheating was wrong. Today, cheating seems to have evolved into an insidious disease infecting our society. As a result, it is now difficult to get a roomful of people to agree on what cheating is,...

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