September 15, 2010

Test questions for sale

  Now that school is back in session, middle school kids in one North Carolina town must be delighted with a new fund-raising project, according to the Raleigh News & Observer.
    News reports claim middle school students can improve their test scores by 10 points on each of two tests. A middle school student can purchase the answers to 20 test questions for only $20.
     This will enable a student to raise a test score from a “B” to and “A,” or in a worst case scenario, the student can salvage a failing grade and turn it into a passing grade. Where were these people when I was in school?
     The newspaper did not say, but I’m certain the fund- raiser was canceled after the superintendent's office heard about the bizarre plan.
  A bit of fund-raising history might help readers to understand how a thing like this could happen. Last year the Parent Advisory Council at this school mounted a fund- raising campaign by selling chocolate candies.
     The chocolate sale turned out to be a colossal failure, in fact, the Parent Advisory Council lost money on that ill- conceived venture. Poor marketing strategy, I suppose. Following last year's fiasco, some of the parent leaders came up with the brilliant idea of selling answers to test questions. Do you suppose this represents a kind of parent role modeling we've never heard about? The parents tried not to overdo it. Not too many questions were for sale, only 10 questions from each of two tests. That’s to insure fairness to all of the middle school kids.
  Wish I had access to the minutes of the next meeting between the Parent Advisory Council and the school board. I don’t think THAT will make it into the newspapers. Sorry kids, what a magnificent plan to keep your grades out of the failure column.

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