The Student News Site of Juan Diego Catholic High School

Editorial: Goodbye ALEKS

After investigation, Speaking Eagle staff feels it's time for ALEKS to go.

January 14, 2019

Original Graphic by Shailey Pettit

Part of being a Juan Diego student is understanding the underground economy of ALEKS. The program, intended to improve our math skills, is being morphed into a market where there is someone wanting to do your ALEKS and they’re making quite a bit of money doing it. The staff at Speaking Eagle feel that ALEKS is not being used for its intended purpose and either needs to be overhauled or ended.

Students are paying each other to do these topics, which results in more money being put down the drain. If JD is paying tens of thousands of dollars for ALEKS, only to have a significant portion of students pay each other to do this ALEKS, then in effect JD is paying tens of thousands of dollars, at least partially, for students to pay each other. This cannot be the intended effect.

As shown in the previous infographic, Juan Diego is in charge of a great deal of funds that are meant to be used improving STEM programs at JD through the AlSam grant. We think that the money from the Skaggs should be put to more significant things that have real benefits. For example, that money that could be put to better use, such as more wifi routers, so we get constant connection in all of our classes, or devices for students.

Theoretically, say every student did their own topics – there are still so many ways this program is flawed. The only way to pass a topic is to get multiple problems in a row correct. For a student that doesn’t fully understand the topic, it is frustrating and virtually impossible to do. This encourages students to use dishonest ways to get this work done, through programs such as “Mathway”, which don’t give any benefit to the student.

Beyond this, students have plenty of other homework that needs to get done, whether in AP classes or not. When ALEKS is added, it feels like busy work we put it to the side and procrastinate until very last minute. Students usually don’t get it all done and/or pay other students to do their topics. The students that are getting paid to do topics are students in much higher classes who have no problem doing the ALEKS. Because it is so easy to get someone to do your ALEKS, there is no purpose in doing it on your own, unless you don’t have money to pay.  

Either changes need to happen, or honestly it is time to do away with ALEKS, because in its best form is seems to be busy work that students muddle through, and at worst, students aren’t even doing it, and it monetizes cheating. Though we the Speaking Eagle staff have a better understanding of why ALEKS was turned to in the first place, ultimately the objective of ALEKS has been lost.

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