Letting Students Buy Better Grades?

No matter how much money we pour into the school system in this country, we get incessant complaints that the schools are underfunded. Worse yet, we hear gripes that teachers can’t get the supplies they need to do their jobs.

Yet, nobody ever seems to ask the basic questions: Does pouring more money into a school system actually improve performance? Moreover, given the incredible amount of money we’re spending per pupil, how is it that teachers can’t afford notebooks and tissue paper? Is the eternal quest for more money about the kids or is it about catering to the teachers’ unions? If private schools can do a better job of educating kids for much less money than these public schools, shouldn’t we concentrate our efforts on getting kids out of public schools and into private schools via vouchers?

These questions don’t get seriously discussed. Instead, we obsessively focus on money, even putting it above giving honest grades to the kids who are being educated:

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 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 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.

I’m glad they chose to stop this fundraiser, but you have to ask: Why does a principal who thinks it’s okay for kids to buy better grades still have a job? What kind of judgment does that show? How did we get into a world where many of the dumbest, least moral, most radical people all ended up getting jobs for life as school teachers and college professors (Like Bill Ayers)?

Moreover, while looking for data on how much money North Carolina schools get per pupil, I found some fascinating statistics that are too good not to share.

Did you know that the 5 states that spend the least per pupil are all conservative states? Not a big shocker there, right? Here are the numbers.

1) Utah: $5,216.00
2) Oklahoma: $6,610.00
3) Idaho: $6,319.00
4) Mississippi: $6,548.00
5) Arizona: $6,184.00

47) Rhode Island: $11,667.00
48) Connecticut: $12,263.00
49) District of Columbia: $13,348.00
50) New York: $13,703.00
51) New Jersey: $14,117.00

That’s a heck of a difference, right? Almost twice as much per pupil is being spent in the liberal states.

So, out of these two groups of states — which ones have the best SAT scores?

Out of the liberal states, DC had the lowest scores with an average of 940. That’s the 2nd worst in the nation behind Maine (Which may help explain Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe).

The high score for the liberal states was Connecticut with 1,022. Go Joe Lieberman!

So, how did those conservative states do? You know, the ones that just MUST be behind because they’re not spending any money? Plus, look at those states: Utah is full of Mormon religious fanatics and Mississippi? Don’t even get me started on how dumb those people are — isn’t that what liberals would say?

Well, the highest score in that top 5 batch? It was Oklahoma, at 1,149.00. So, they beat Connecticut, which outspends them almost 2-to-1, by more than 100 points. But, what about the low score? That would be Arizona, which came in at 1,044. That is higher than Connecticut, which was the best of the high spending liberal states.

Now, after looking at those numbers, I ask you: Are we getting our money’s worth for our schools or are we just wasting a tremendous amount of money?

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