msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 11/11/2009 9:20:26 AM ET 2009-11-11T14:20:26

A middle school in North Carolina is selling test scores to students in a bid to raise money.

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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.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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