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For $20, kids can buy a better grade. dumbing down

 
wizard
User ID: 700544
United States
11/11/2009 10:15 AM
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For $20, kids can buy a better grade. dumbing down
BY LYNN BONNER - Staff Writer
Tags: education | news | state
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.

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.

Kids have until Nov. 20 to get their money in.

Staff writer Michael Biesecker contributed to this report.
wizard (OP)
User ID: 700544
United States
11/11/2009 10:26 AM
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Re: For $20, kids can buy a better grade. dumbing down
this is just wrong in so many ways is this what we teach our children money can buy anything or makes it all better
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 801231
United States
11/11/2009 10:45 AM
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Re: For $20, kids can buy a better grade. dumbing down
I noticed the other "dumbing down" thread. I cannot even bare to open it. Did you know, most school districts in our country do not even teach or grade on spelling anymore?

"all the red markings on a paper may lead to low self-esteem."

I say, the lack of them WILL lead to an uneducationed generation. Shit, even if they are intelligent, or book smart, you wouldn't know it to read anything they write.

I went to my son's school to have a chat about this with admins. and was told, "Hand writing will soon be obsolete, as will spelling. The introduction of spell check software and typing will replace both needs"

First of all, if you can't spell, you cannot use spell check for everything. I have seen 7th graders who spell "use" "yous" if you do not know how to spell "need" and you make a guess at it, how do you know if you need "knead" or "need"? Who is going to hire these kids when they can not spell their own name on a job application?
What colleges are going to say, "Well, he can't spell for shit, but he has good grades!!"

They also have stopped teaching cursive writing, because that too is obsolete. I guess we can all just resort to a big fat "X" in place of a signature. *sighs*

[link to writinghood.com]

[link to www.greatschools.net]

[link to www.sntp.net]
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 801231
United States
11/11/2009 10:47 AM
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Re: For $20, kids can buy a better grade. dumbing down
also, god forbid once we are a society completely dependent on our computers that some major virus, or cyber attack come and knock out all use of them. this whole generation will be on lock down.


maybe that is what those in charge want.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 810307
United States
11/11/2009 10:53 AM
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Re: For $20, kids can buy a better grade. dumbing down
When I was in High School our football team was soooo sorry and could not generate crowds sooo a few of the teachers pulled together and offered 100 bonus points for each football game attended. It wasnt that enticing though because less than 5% of the students participated.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 815896
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11/11/2009 11:20 AM
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Re: For $20, kids can buy a better grade. dumbing down
So the rich kids can buy good grades but the poor kids get lower test scores, sounds like class-warfare in the classroom.
My school a math teacher got busted for selling pencils, paper, and combs. Since the school has a contract for soda, snacks, food and yes pencils even if it never restocked the pencil machine.
He is turning over in his grave or farting uncomfortably in a recliner at the old folks home right now.
CuriouslyIncognito

User ID: 808026
United States
11/11/2009 11:29 AM
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Re: For $20, kids can buy a better grade. dumbing down
I noticed the other "dumbing down" thread. I cannot even bare to open it. Did you know, most school districts in our country do not even teach or grade on spelling anymore?

"all the red markings on a paper may lead to low self-esteem."

I say, the lack of them WILL lead to an uneducationed generation. Shit, even if they are intelligent, or book smart, you wouldn't know it to read anything they write.

I went to my son's school to have a chat about this with admins. and was told, "Hand writing will soon be obsolete, as will spelling. The introduction of spell check software and typing will replace both needs"

First of all, if you can't spell, you cannot use spell check for everything. I have seen 7th graders who spell "use" "yous" if you do not know how to spell "need" and you make a guess at it, how do you know if you need "knead" or "need"? Who is going to hire these kids when they can not spell their own name on a job application?
What colleges are going to say, "Well, he can't spell for shit, but he has good grades!!"

They also have stopped teaching cursive writing, because that too is obsolete. I guess we can all just resort to a big fat "X" in place of a signature. *sighs*

[link to writinghood.com]

[link to www.greatschools.net]

[link to www.sntp.net]
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 801231



Yes, I can believe it- I know it to be a fact. During one meeting I finally asked the teachers assembled to please call in X student and explain to them how writing isn't really that important. The student doesn't really need to be able to fill out an application for college or jobs.

They finally gave in and agreed to educate the student, but it was a battle and it really shouldn't have been.

peace
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"....So I told my Mom I was a prostitute because I didn't want her to know I was HERE doing This Shit !!! " by NANCY REED
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