Saturday, July 09, 2016

Anthony Hamlet sworn in; plagiarism charge a straw man?

Anthony Hamlet was sworn in as superintendent of Pittsburgh schools on July 1, 2016, after enduring criticisms of his resume for plagiarism and falsification (bolstering).

Of the plagiarism issue, from within a post at the New Pittsburgh Courier:

In an official statement released afterwards, [Board President Regina ] Holley said she and the majority of the board did believe Hamlet’s use of material from a 2013 Washington Post editorial constituted plagiarism.

“At the heart of the debate over Dr. Hamlet was the question of whether he plagiarized the Washington Post in his resume. When this first became an issue, Dr. Hamlet told me the words he used to describe his educational philosophy came from a speech that someone wrote for him more than a year ago – and he did not know their origin,” she wrote.

“Plagiarism is legally defined as “the deliberate and knowing presentation of another’s ideas,” and that is not what Dr. Hamlet did. However, he also made it clear that he ultimately takes responsibility for what he included in his resume and he regrets the unintended consequences this has caused.”


IPBiz notes a definition of plagiarism from Black's: The act of appropriating the literary composition of another, or parts or passages of his writings, or the ideas or language of the same, and passing them off as the product of one’s own mind.

As to the text -- a speech that someone wrote for him --, one wonders if giving a speech as one's own that someone else wrote is in itself plagiarism. And, blaming some unknown "someone" for the copying is the old "the grad student did it" defense, which usually does not work.

Without reaching the issue of whether copying one sentence from the Washington Post was plagiarism, one notes the minimal discussion of Hamlet's bigger "sin," the deliberate and knowing bolstering of his accomplishments on the resume. Here, the plagiarism charge was a straw man that concealed the real problem.

See also:


Post a Comment

<< Home