●●smf checked the sources here, expecting (and hoping) to find a link to The Onion or Colbert, The Weekly World News ,
Fox Newsor another comedy site. No such lucK! see: THE FAYETTEVILLE OBSERVER – AP – THE NEWS & OBSERVER OF RALEIGH - ROSEWOOD MIDDLE SCHOOL
Anyone stretching for an historical precedent here might want to look up Martin Luther, the Sale of Indulgences and The Diet of Worms. Principal Shepherd will probably be dieting upon her fair share o’ worms …hopefully gummy Though perhaps just deporting her along with whoever wrote the Don't Sign a Charter Petition flyer in LA would be more appropriate.
NC school sells test points for $20 to raise money
An Associated Press Story in the Fayetteville Observer
Published: 10:54 AM, Wed Nov 11, 2009
GOLDSBORO (AP) - A central North Carolina middle school is selling grades to students to raise money for the school.
The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Wednesday that Rosewood Middle School in Goldsboro has come up with a novel fundraising plan after last year's chocolate sale flopped.
The school will sell 20 test points to students in exchange for a $20-dollar donation.
Students can add 10 extra points to each of two tests of their choosing. The extra points could take a student from a "B" to an "A" on a test or from a failing grade to a passing grade.
Rosewood's principal Susie Shepherd rejected the idea that extra points on two tests could make a difference in a final grade.
Shepherd said she approved the idea when a parent advisory council presented it. "Last year they did chocolates and it didn't generate anything," Shepherd said.
The funds will go toward improved technology for Rosewood, including digital cameras for the computer lab and a high-tech blackboard.
But officials at the state Department of Public Instruction said exchanging grades for money teaches children the wrong lessons.
The department's chief academic officer, Rebecca Garland, told the News & Observer she understands that schools are struggling during the recession but added that, "We're teaching kids something that if they were to do it later, they could get in trouble for."
Garland said offering students test credit in exchange for school supplies is a long standing practice at some schools. "I've never actually heard of being able to purchase grades before," she said.
Parents need to have a true picture of how their student is performing in class, Garland said.
No donations have been collected so far, Shepherd said. Rosewood students have until November 20 to hand in their money.
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.
Rosewood Middle School Mission Statement
"The staff of Rosewood Middle School is committed to empowering adolescents through unique goal-directed learning in environments created for success with the support and participation of students, parents and community."
Accept the Challenge-Soar with the Eagles!
District nixes cash-for-grades fundraiser
BY LYNN BONNER - Staff Writer Raleigh News & Observer
Wed, Nov 11, 2009 -- 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 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 November 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.
Susie Shepherd, the principal, said a parent advisory council came up with the idea, and she endorsed it. She said the council was looking for a new way to raise money.
"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.
State education officials, who typically shy from talking about grading at individual schools, were not pleased to hear of Rosewood's effort.
Rebecca Garland, the chief academic officer for the state Department of Public Instruction, said she understands that schools are struggling in the recession.
Tight state and local budgets have put extra pressure on schools to raise their own money. Teachers giving extra test credit to students who bring in classroom supplies is a longstanding practice at some schools.
The wrong lesson?
But Garland said exchanging grades for money teaches children the wrong lessons. She also said it is bad testing practice and is unfair to students whose parents can't pay.
"If a student in college were to approach a professor to buy a grade, we would be frowning on that," Garland said. "It might even be a reason for dismissal. We're teaching kids something that if they were to do it later, they could get in trouble for."
Students should know that test grades are based on what they've learned, and parents need to have a true picture of how their child is performing in class, Garland said.
Garland said she has heard of schools offering test credit to students who bring supplies to school. But "I've never actually heard of being able to purchase grades before," she said.
An ethicist at Clemson University hopes Rosewood reconsiders its fundraising strategy.
"To my mind, it's the integrity of the educational enterprise that's at stake here," said Daniel Wueste, director of the Rutland Institute for Ethics.
A parent objects
Carmen Zepp, a Raleigh parent, said there should be policies against offering students test credit for anything other than what they've learned.
Zepp objected this year when her daughter's social studies teacher at Knightdale High School had students bring to school tissues and hand sanitizer. The supplies counted for 25 percent of a "supply check" grade.
"It's awful," Zepp said. "It's indicative of the fact that our schools don't have enough money. They can't get tissues or hand sanitizer or whatever without bribery. And that's pretty sad."
Shepherd, the Rosewood principal, said her school needs more technology. She said any money raised would help buy digital cameras for the school's computer lab and a high-tech blackboard.
Shepherd said no donations have been collected so far, as far as she knows.
The district is continuing to investigate, and has stated that additional actions will be taken if deemed necessary.