Remote learning bred rampant cheating at NYC’s Stuyvesant High School

Stuyvesant High School students cheated at an elite level during remote learning.

Remote learning led to routine cheating at the city’s most competitive high school, where 79 percent of last year’s senior class copped to academic dishonesty at some point, according to a report.

A 2021 Stuyvesant graduate told The Post that working from home simply made it too tempting to cheat.

“What was there to stop you from just looking up an answer?” she asked. “You were on your own, there was no one watching. It’s kind of obvious.”

In interviews with Stuyvesant High School’s newspaper, The Spectator, students said distance learning made cutting corners a breeze.

“A lot of people didn’t actually learn as much last year because of how easy it was to cheat on things, which is sort of sad,” a sophomore told the paper.

A Stuyvesant senior said distance learning relied on student conscience to suppress scholastic skullduggery.

“Remote learning changed the playing field,” the student said. “It was closer to [an] honor system, so I felt that most people were more likely to push the rules a bit.”

Stuyvesant is one of the top schools in both NYC and the country.
Bloomberg via Getty Images / Jeenah Moon

Admission to Stuyvesant hinges on a top score on the intensely competitive and controversial Specialized High School Admissions Test.

The school has produced four Nobel Laureates since its founding and consistently ranks as of the country’s premier public high schools.

A Stuyvesant teacher told The Post Tuesday that staffers were aware that some kids were likely looking up answers to some questions, sharing work with friends, plagiarizing and committing other acts of academic dishonesty during remote learning.

“This is a competitive place,” he said. “These are the most competitive kids in the city in most cases. So I think it was inevitable that some students did things they shouldn’t have. Let’s put it like that.”

Others students told the outlet that cheating during remote learning was inexcusable due to lighter workloads.

“In remote [learning], there’s less of an excuse for academic dishonesty because, for me, remote was a lot easier academically. I didn’t have to commute, and I could wake up later, and I had more time to do everything,” the student said. “Now, I think that I take and give homework answers more and have a less grave outlook on [cheating].”

Students wearing protective masks arrive at Stuyvesant High School in New York.
One educator said it was “inevitable” that students would look up answers under the circumstances.
Bloomberg via Getty Images / Jeenah Moon

Some blamed what they deemed to be Stuyvesant’s sometimes excessive academic demands.

“When you put this type of pressure on teenagers you are going to have some cheating,” a junior told The Post. “I think a lot of us feel that some teachers are giving out work just for the sake of work rather than some real educational value.”

But others said Stuyvesant’s elevated expectations should be enough to curb academic chicanery.

“Stuy encourages original work, as there’s a feeling of being proud of being at Stuy, that you’ve worked so hard to get to where you are, so that [is a motivator] to continue doing your own work as best as you can,” a student told The Spectator.