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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

School Fundraiser: Cash for Grades

From the you-can't-possibly-believe-this-is-okay news files comes this little gem: a middle school was selling extra credit grade points as part of a school fundraiser.

According to the newsobserver.com article by Lynn Bonner (h/t BigGovernment.com):

"Selling candy didn't raise much money last year, so a Goldsboro middle school tried selling grades.

"However, the fundraiser came to an abrupt halt today after a story in The News & Observer raised concerns about the practice of selling grades.

"Wayne County school administrators stopped the fundraiser, issuing a statement this morning.

"'Yesterday afternoon, the district administration met with [Rosewood Middle School principal] Mrs. Shepherd and directed the the following actions be taken: (1) the fundraiser will be immediately stopped; (2) no extra grade credit will be issued that may have resulted from donations; and (3) beginning Novermber [spelling is district administration's?] 12, all donations will be returned.'

"A $20 donation to Rosewood Middle School would have gotten a student 20 test points - 10 extra points on two tests of the student's choosing. That could raise a B to an A, or a failing grade to a D."

Later in the article, the principal, Mrs. Shepherd, offered this perfectly reasonable explanation that completely exonerates a practice, that on the surface, seems reprehensible.

"'Last year they did chocolates, and it didn't generate anything'" Shepherd said.

"Shepherd rejected the suggestion that the school is selling grades. Extra points on two tests won't make a difference in a student's final grade, she said.

"It's wrong to think that 'one particular grade could change the entire focus of nine weeks,' Shepherd said."

Oh, I understand... Chocolates didn't cut it, so they decided to sell grades. And of course those extra credit points wouldn't make any difference-- that's why people would be willing to pay $20 for them.

The article also included a Rosewood Middle School price list:

"A $20 donation buys 10-point credits to be used on two tests of the student's choice.

"A $30 donation buys the test points and admission to a 5th-period dance.

"A $60 donation buys students test points, the dance invitation, and a 'special 30-minute lunch period with pizza, drink and the choice to invite one friend to join them.'

"Photo ops with Rosewood principal Susie Shepherd, the vice principal, and a home room teacher go for $75. The photos will be posted on a school bulletin board and on the school's Web site."

As my wife pointed out, that $75 prize doesn't seem so great. A photo-op with the vice principal? I mean I pretty much got one of those in 7th grade for free when I started a food fight in the cafeteria.

My wife suggested that a date with some of the school spirit minded staff would be more enticing for the $75 price tag. I mean, I'm sure there's some pretty science teacher, or handsome computer science teacher down there willing to spend an evening with a generous parent for the sake of the school coffers.

Why not? Principal Shepherd is already selling out their grades...

3 comments:

  1. There's nothing like teaching the right kind of values!

    Maybe the school could sell permits to get out of studying the multiplication tables or cursive writing, that is, if those subjects are still on the curriculum.

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