Screw cash for grades, how about grades for cash?

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Screw cash for grades, how about grades for cash?

Postby scrovak » Thu Nov 12, 2009 4:52 am UTC

MSNBC wrote:GOLDSBORO, N.C. - A middle school in North Carolina is selling test scores to students in a bid to raise money.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Wednesday that a parent advisory council at Rosewood Middle School in Goldsboro come up with the fundraising plan after last year's chocolate sale flopped.

The school will sell 20 test points to students for $20.

Students can add 10 extra points to each of two tests of their choice. The extra points could take a student from a "B" to an "A" on those tests or from a failing grade to a passing grade.

Principal Susie Shepherd says it's not enough of an impact to change a student's overall grades.

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

Wrong lesson?
Education officials were not as sanguine about the grades-for-cash exchange, telling the paper it taught the wrong lessons.

"If a student in college were to approach a professor to buy a grade, we would be frowning on that," said Rebecca Garland, chief academic officer for the Department of Public Instruction. "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."

Garland told the News Observer she's 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.



Source

So what does everyone think? We already heard your views on rewarding kids with cash for getting good grades, but how about straight up selling them better grades?
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Re: Screw cash for grades, how about grades for cash?

Postby Not A Raptor » Thu Nov 12, 2009 4:56 am UTC

If the school's hurting for cash, it's a policy issue. (Either budget or government) A school shouldn't be forced to resort to selling grades. I agree with those who say that it teaches bad lessons. I also think of this as something of a bad method of raising money. There are class fundraiser-type things such as selling candy and stuff from catalogs. My guess? This is attention grabbing.
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Re: Screw cash for grades, how about grades for cash?

Postby psyck0 » Thu Nov 12, 2009 4:57 am UTC

This is absolutely ridiculous and unacceptable and disgusting. What kind of idiots are in charge there? "It's OK because it won't actually affect their grade, we're just tricking them because we need cash"???!!

Oh. North Carolina. Less surprised. Next they'll start charging to teach evolution or some such crap.

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Re: Screw cash for grades, how about grades for cash?

Postby scrovak » Thu Nov 12, 2009 5:10 am UTC

But it's not a trick, those 20 points could be enough to prevent someone from having to repeat a grade. Someone could very well possibly buy their way into HS with that.
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Re: Screw cash for grades, how about grades for cash?

Postby Briareos » Thu Nov 12, 2009 5:13 am UTC

No word on whether the teachers are okay with it. If I were a teacher, I probably wouldn't be.
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Re: Screw cash for grades, how about grades for cash?

Postby BlackSails » Thu Nov 12, 2009 5:13 am UTC

This basically makes sure nobody from that school goes to college.

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Re: Screw cash for grades, how about grades for cash?

Postby Vieto » Thu Nov 12, 2009 5:16 am UTC

I wonder if the funds the school gets from this goes towards scholarships...

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Re: Screw cash for grades, how about grades for cash?

Postby Omegaton » Thu Nov 12, 2009 5:18 am UTC

Not A Raptor wrote:There are class fundraiser-type things such as selling candy and stuff from catalogs.

Apparently they failed at selling chocolates. Still, that's not a good excuse to sell grade points.

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Re: Screw cash for grades, how about grades for cash?

Postby Jahoclave » Thu Nov 12, 2009 5:28 am UTC

Or, better idea, classify your school as a military operation designed to defeat terrorists and send the bill to the defense department. They're the ones getting all the cash to begin with.

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Re: Screw cash for grades, how about grades for cash?

Postby The Reaper » Thu Nov 12, 2009 5:41 am UTC

I'm glad I'm not the only person that this set off the WTF and RAGE interrupts for.

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Re: Screw cash for grades, how about grades for cash?

Postby yoni45 » Thu Nov 12, 2009 5:46 am UTC

scrovak wrote:But it's not a trick, those 20 points could be enough to prevent someone from having to repeat a grade. Someone could very well possibly buy their way into HS with that.


It does seem marginal tbh - it's 10 points per test max, for at most 2 tests. Assuming that a test in middle school is probably going to be worth what is likely less than 40% of their mark (yeah, I pulled that number from a hat, but I can't imagine it being worth more, if anything closer to 20%).

So arguably, this would make a difference only in the most marginal of cases.

Still, pretty ridiculous - this sets into play such a wrong idea about so many things (even if only vis a vis bragging rights of the kid who did worse but got bumped up because he paid for it)...
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Re: Screw cash for grades, how about grades for cash?

Postby Cynical Idealist » Thu Nov 12, 2009 5:50 am UTC

yoni45 wrote:
scrovak wrote:But it's not a trick, those 20 points could be enough to prevent someone from having to repeat a grade. Someone could very well possibly buy their way into HS with that.


It does seem marginal tbh - it's 10 points per test max, for at most 2 tests. Assuming that a test in middle school is probably going to be worth what is likely less than 40% of their mark (yeah, I pulled that number from a hat, but I can't imagine it being worth more, if anything closer to 20%).

So arguably, this would make a difference only in the most marginal of cases.

Still, pretty ridiculous - this sets into play such a wrong idea about so many things (even if only vis a vis bragging rights of the kid who did worse but got bumped up because he paid for it)...

Honestly, I doubt that a single test in middle school would be worth even 20% of the grade.

At least the way I remember it, it was closer to 50-60% of the total grade being tests, with probably five or six tests. So a single test would be worth ~10% of the semester grade.
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Re: Screw cash for grades, how about grades for cash?

Postby Jahoclave » Thu Nov 12, 2009 5:56 am UTC

The Reaper wrote:I'm glad I'm not the only person that this set off the WTF and RAGE interrupts for.

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Re: Screw cash for grades, how about grades for cash?

Postby scrovak » Thu Nov 12, 2009 5:57 am UTC

Cynical Idealist wrote:
yoni45 wrote:
scrovak wrote:But it's not a trick, those 20 points could be enough to prevent someone from having to repeat a grade. Someone could very well possibly buy their way into HS with that.


It does seem marginal tbh - it's 10 points per test max, for at most 2 tests. Assuming that a test in middle school is probably going to be worth what is likely less than 40% of their mark (yeah, I pulled that number from a hat, but I can't imagine it being worth more, if anything closer to 20%).

So arguably, this would make a difference only in the most marginal of cases.

Still, pretty ridiculous - this sets into play such a wrong idea about so many things (even if only vis a vis bragging rights of the kid who did worse but got bumped up because he paid for it)...

Honestly, I doubt that a single test in middle school would be worth even 20% of the grade.

At least the way I remember it, it was closer to 50-60% of the total grade being tests, with probably five or six tests. So a single test would be worth ~10% of the semester grade.


Which means for $20, they could jump from a 58 (FAIL) to a 60 % (D-) for the semmester, or any number of other grade combinations.
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Re: Screw cash for grades, how about grades for cash?

Postby Briareos » Thu Nov 12, 2009 6:00 am UTC

Yes, for any positive amount of credit, that credit could tip a grade. So it's a pretty terrible idea all around, regardless of the actual numbers involved.
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Re: Screw cash for grades, how about grades for cash?

Postby scrovak » Thu Nov 12, 2009 6:04 am UTC

Exactly. Having graduated National Honors Society, this enrages me to no extent because I had to work like a motherfuck for my grades. There was no buying shit involved.

Does anyone else think the best solution would be for all High Schools in the area to announce they won't be accepting graduates of that school, regardless of their grades, until the policy is banned?
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Re: Screw cash for grades, how about grades for cash?

Postby yoni45 » Thu Nov 12, 2009 6:07 am UTC

It's probably also worth noting that in many cases, when the difference is marginal (ie, 1%-2%), a teacher will often round the grade up regardless (or if asked)...
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Re: Screw cash for grades, how about grades for cash?

Postby Aetius » Thu Nov 12, 2009 7:16 am UTC

scrovak wrote:Exactly. Having graduated National Honors Society, this enrages me to no extent because I had to work like a motherfuck for my grades. There was no buying shit involved.


You do realize that NHS and all associated "honors" in high school are a joke anyway, right?

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Re: Screw cash for grades, how about grades for cash?

Postby Briareos » Thu Nov 12, 2009 7:22 am UTC

Do you suggest that my high school scholarship was not as meritorious as originally claimed?
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Re: Screw cash for grades, how about grades for cash?

Postby scrovak » Thu Nov 12, 2009 7:46 am UTC

Well the 'Honors' you so callously dismiss happened to be granted after getting no grade lower than an A- for a year and a half in a row, a voluntary trip to Mississippi to help out with the relief effort when the hurricane hit, gave me a $5,000 USD discount, per semmester, on courses at pretty much any college in America, and secured me a job working for DoD that pays about $23/hr with no more than a HS education.
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Re: Screw cash for grades, how about grades for cash?

Postby Aetius » Thu Nov 12, 2009 7:50 am UTC

scrovak wrote:Well the 'Honors' you so callously dismiss happened to be granted after getting no grade lower than an A- for a year and a half in a row, a voluntary trip to Mississippi to help out with the relief effort when the hurricane hit, gave me a $5,000 USD discount, per semmester, on courses at pretty much any college in America, and secured me a job working for DoD that pays about $23/hr with no more than a HS education.


Yeah, exactly.

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Re: Screw cash for grades, how about grades for cash?

Postby scrovak » Thu Nov 12, 2009 8:18 am UTC

I don't get it. What are you saying?
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Re: Screw cash for grades, how about grades for cash?

Postby tishikawa » Thu Nov 12, 2009 8:49 am UTC

In my eye, not too different from how most private schools inflate their student's GPA's by offering them 5.0's for A's instead of 4.0's.

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Re: Screw cash for grades, how about grades for cash?

Postby scrovak » Thu Nov 12, 2009 8:51 am UTC

But that's.... not how the school I was in worked. In fact, I've never, ever heard of that.
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Re: Screw cash for grades, how about grades for cash?

Postby Briareos » Thu Nov 12, 2009 1:46 pm UTC

I've heard of that, but it is different, and totally irrelevant. (The usual way that I've heard of it is offering grades weighted higher than 4.0 for good performance in things like AP classes, to reflect the apparently tougher-than-high-school nature of the work.)
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Re: Screw cash for grades, how about grades for cash?

Postby Levi » Thu Nov 12, 2009 1:54 pm UTC

I thought it was standard practice for AP courses to have an extra .5 points added.

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Re: Screw cash for grades, how about grades for cash?

Postby Ixtellor » Thu Nov 12, 2009 2:32 pm UTC

Aetius wrote:
scrovak wrote:Exactly. Having graduated National Honors Society, this enrages me to no extent because I had to work like a motherfuck for my grades. There was no buying shit involved.


You do realize that NHS and all associated "honors" in high school are a joke anyway, right?


You can't make a blanket statement like that.
Its going to vary from school to school.

Levi wrote:I thought it was standard practice for AP courses to have an extra .5 points added.


It is.

In reference to the story... its one of the worst ideas I have ever heard.
Your grade should never be based on your ability to pay. The word 'discrimination' comes to mind immediatly.
So a student with wealthy parents can buy the max amount of bonus points, while poor students get nothing?

This is the same reason it is illegal in most schools to have a 'pay for benefits policy of any kind'.


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Re: Screw cash for grades, how about grades for cash?

Postby Heisenberg » Thu Nov 12, 2009 4:12 pm UTC

Briareos wrote:I've heard of that, but it is different, and totally irrelevant. (The usual way that I've heard of it is offering grades weighted higher than 4.0 for good performance in things like AP classes, to reflect the apparently tougher-than-high-school nature of the work.)

Some schools near me did this, but they were all public, not private. Of course, my school didn't, so my AP classes ended up hurting my GPA in the sense that I could've done better in easier classes.

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Re: Screw cash for grades, how about grades for cash?

Postby BlackSails » Thu Nov 12, 2009 4:29 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
Briareos wrote:I've heard of that, but it is different, and totally irrelevant. (The usual way that I've heard of it is offering grades weighted higher than 4.0 for good performance in things like AP classes, to reflect the apparently tougher-than-high-school nature of the work.)

Some schools near me did this, but they were all public, not private. Of course, my school didn't, so my AP classes ended up hurting my GPA in the sense that I could've done better in easier classes.


My school also didnt change the GPA for honors or AP classes. Its a public school.

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Re: Screw cash for grades, how about grades for cash?

Postby Briareos » Thu Nov 12, 2009 4:47 pm UTC

I can't believe college admissions officers don't actually consider the declared grading scale of the school. Do you think they really go, "A 4.3? That's way better than a 4.0!" without any more thought to the matter?
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Re: Screw cash for grades, how about grades for cash?

Postby BlackSails » Thu Nov 12, 2009 4:49 pm UTC

Briareos wrote:I can't believe college admissions officers don't actually consider the declared grading scale of the school. Do you think they really go, "A 4.3? That's way better than a 4.0!" without any more thought to the matter?


I dont think they do. I had a 92, uncurved and took something like 13 AP classes. My GPA kept me out of many schools.

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Re: Screw cash for grades, how about grades for cash?

Postby Cynical Idealist » Thu Nov 12, 2009 4:55 pm UTC

Briareos wrote:I can't believe college admissions officers don't actually consider the declared grading scale of the school. Do you think they really go, "A 4.3? That's way better than a 4.0!" without any more thought to the matter?

They don't look at what the school says your GPA is, they look at your unweighted GPA (they look at your letter grades in each class and calculate your GPA according to their own system)
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Re: Screw cash for grades, how about grades for cash?

Postby Mokele » Thu Nov 12, 2009 6:11 pm UTC

They don't look at what the school says your GPA is, they look at your unweighted GPA (they look at your letter grades in each class and calculate your GPA according to their own system)


That's been my experience too, though it's not without drawbacks (an 81 can be a B in one school and a C in another), which is why we have standardized tests.


Anyhow, back to the main topic: I think it's either very, very bad, or very, very good. If the school is legitimately doing this, with no thought beyond that, it's an awful idea for reasons others have laid out. It occurs to me, however, that the school may be doing this as a publicity / political stunt to force the hand of the school board and/or government into giving them much needed money, in which case it's brilliant.

Of course, it won't work. The public has shown, time and time again, that they don't give a crap about education.
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Re: Screw cash for grades, how about grades for cash?

Postby Briareos » Thu Nov 12, 2009 6:14 pm UTC

Mokele wrote:I think it's either very, very bad, or very, very good. If the school is legitimately doing this, with no thought beyond that, it's an awful idea for reasons others have laid out. It occurs to me, however, that the school may be doing this as a publicity / political stunt to force the hand of the school board and/or government into giving them much needed money, in which case it's brilliant.

Of course, it won't work.
(emphasis mine)

So what you're saying is, it's very, very bad.
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Re: Screw cash for grades, how about grades for cash?

Postby Random832 » Thu Nov 12, 2009 7:18 pm UTC

Levi wrote:I thought it was standard practice for AP courses to have an extra .5 points added.

At my school IIRC it was .2 per AP course taken, on top of the GPA (i.e. after everything's averaged)

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Re: Screw cash for grades, how about grades for cash?

Postby Owijad » Thu Nov 12, 2009 7:40 pm UTC

Briareos wrote:Do you suggest that my high school scholarship was not as meritorious as originally claimed?


Did you go to school in North Carolina? Maybe your scholarship was a little more meretricious than originally claimed.
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Re: Screw cash for grades, how about grades for cash?

Postby Dauric » Thu Nov 12, 2009 8:06 pm UTC

What's really shameful is that a school district has to even contemplate this kind of stupidity to make ends meet.
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Re: Screw cash for grades, how about grades for cash?

Postby DanTan » Thu Nov 12, 2009 8:09 pm UTC

screw selling the grades, the teachers can sell the "TEACHER NOTES" for cash, it should help the kids considerably.

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Re: Screw cash for grades, how about grades for cash?

Postby Mokele » Thu Nov 12, 2009 8:11 pm UTC

Briareos wrote:
Mokele wrote:I think it's either very, very bad, or very, very good. If the school is legitimately doing this, with no thought beyond that, it's an awful idea for reasons others have laid out. It occurs to me, however, that the school may be doing this as a publicity / political stunt to force the hand of the school board and/or government into giving them much needed money, in which case it's brilliant.

Of course, it won't work.
(emphasis mine)

So what you're saying is, it's very, very bad.


Well, if it is a political / publicity stunt that just fails, and no 'extra points' are ever actually bought / sold / added to grades, it'd just be a total waste of time.
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Re: Screw cash for grades, how about grades for cash?

Postby Briareos » Thu Nov 12, 2009 8:15 pm UTC

DanTan wrote:screw selling the grades, the teachers can sell the "TEACHER NOTES" for cash, it should help the kids considerably.
What's with the quotes? Are they not really teacher notes?
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