One middle school’s fundraising strategy: Sell grades

cashSelling candy didn’t raise much money last year, so a Goldsboro, N.C., middle school is selling grades, reports the News & Observer. A $20 donation to Rosewood Middle School will get 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. But 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. 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. 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…

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