Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Donate money and get your kid a better test grade

One Raleigh area middle school has come up with a novel way to increase funds raised to help the school. Give a student extra credit for bringing in $20.

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

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.

It's wrong to think that "one particular grade could change the entire focus of nine weeks," Shepherd said.
When I taught in the regular public schools back in the nineties there was a rule forbidding connecting anything that students might bring in from home to their grades. We were even advised against giving assignments where some students would have an advantage because their parents might have internet access and be able to drive the kids to the library while other students wouldn't have those opportunities.

And now a principal thinks it's acceptable to give extra credit on a test for donations? Amazing.

I expect that this is a policy that will soon be reversed.