Ethics Dunces: the Rosewood School

Rosewood Middle School in Goldsboro, North Carolina needs money, so it decided to sell the one thing that it knew parents and students would pay for.

Grades.  I’m not kidding.

$20 will get a student 20 test points, 10 extra points on two tests of the student’s choice. Susie Shepherd , the school’s principal, approved the brain-dead scheme after a parent advisory council came up with the idea as a new way to raise funds.

Well, it is that.

I can’t believe I’m writing this.

Let’s see: in how many ways is this concept ethically offensive?

  1. The program rewards cash over hard work and achievement.
  2. The program thus teaches students to believe that they can use money as a substitute for merit.
  3. The program gives wealthier families’ kids an advantage over less affluent kids.
  4. It is trains children  for bribery, and endorses it.
  5. It creates cynicism in the students about the integrity of grading and the educational system.
  6. It devalues education, learning, and grades, while elevating the status of material resources and the principle of quid pro quo.
  7. It sends the message that society values money over education.
  8. It will encourage students to offer cash to teachers later, in college, when such attempts at bribery will get them disciplined.
  9. It promotes lack of respect for the judgment of school administrators.

Well, that last one isn’t so bad.  They might as well learn it now.

The school district, not happy with the uproar that news of the scheme created, ordered Shepard to end the cash-for-grades program. Incredibly, she  still defends the  idea, arguing that giving extra points on two tests won’t make a difference in a student’s final grade. Ah! Getting undeserved points on a test, enough to turn an F into a D and a B into an A,  is okey-dokey as long as it doesn’t affect the final grade. So I suppose the same is true of hard study to do better on a test—who cares, as long as the final grade is the same? We get it—it doesn’t matter what a child  learns or how a child is  treated, or what values a school conveys . All that matters is that last grade.  No, really, we do understand—we understand this: Principal Shepard is approximately as worthy of being entrusted with the education of middle-schoolers as Richard Heene.

Stopping this jaw-dropping program was a start, but if the district administrators don’t take the next step—sending the Rosewood School’s administrative staff, including Principal Clueless,  of to the unemployment rolls, then they are as hopelessly untrustworthy as Susie Shepard.
The lack of funds is a serious problem for a school. The lack of common sense, integrity,  basic values and the brains God gave a mole rat is worse. Ethics Dunces should not be teaching children.

3 thoughts on “Ethics Dunces: the Rosewood School

  1. … …
    … …


    I’m a bit speechless…I mean… “what?!?”

    I see something like this and I can only think: “How far down does this rabbit hole go? What else is going on at this institution? What will be the reputation of this institution in the future?”

    So – this principal is selling extra credit. She’s making it a big deal to the parents to make them think it’s worth buying and worth money because it will help the student’s grades – and when someone knocks on the door and says “Excuse me…” she changes her story and says she’s selling something that has no value because it won’t change a grade.

    So…which is it?

    Why wouldn’t she just sell Degrees & Diplomas. They already sell those online – at least the world has no illusion that those aren’t worth the paper they are printed on. The people that should be really upset are the ones that claim alumni status – even if it is just a middle school.

  2. I KNEW there was a #10! You’re right—I missed that. She’s simultaneously claiming a commodity has value and then claims that it’s meaningless at the same time. That would be unethical, except that this woman appears to be a couple of strawberries short of a fruit salad, if you get my drift.

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