11/12/09 — Rosewood MS ends 'points for sales'

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Rosewood MS ends 'points for sales'

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on November 12, 2009 1:46 PM

School officials are still investigating the controversial Rosewood Middle School fundraiser that would allow students to boost their grades based on the amount of money donated, which was canceled by the district on Wednesday.

The Board of Education and school officials claim they were unaware of the fundraiser, initiated by the school's parent advisory council after last year's candy drive failed.

"We certainly took action as soon as we were aware of this," Dr. Steven Taylor, schools superintendent, said this morning. "We will be sending home a letter today to parents, letting them know that this fundraiser has been stopped."

According to published reports Wednesday, the council approached principal Susie Shepherd with the idea of selling 20 test points to students for $20. Students would be able to add 10 extra points to each of two tests of their choosing.

The extra points could take a student from a "B" to an "A" on tests or from a failing grade to a passing one.

Ms. Shepherd approved the fundraiser, saying it would not make enough of an impact to change a student's overall grades.

Ken Derksen, public information officer for Wayne County Public Schools, said the district had only learned of the fundraiser Tuesday afternoon.

"Wayne County Public Schools and the Wayne County Board of Education do not condone any fundraiser or practice that allows extra grade credit to be purchased," he said in a prepared statement.

"(Tuesday) afternoon, the district administration met with Mrs. Shepherd and directed that 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 Nov. 12, all donations will be returned."

Derksen added that the district will continue its investigation into the matter and decide whether additional action is necessary.

"If any other information develops or any other action is taken, we will let you know," Taylor told the News-Argus. "We're trying to handle this as best we can. The important thing is we took action as soon as we knew."

When contacted this morning, George Moye, school board chairman, deferred all comments to the central office.

"We're trying to have the fewest number of spokespersons," he said.

--The Associated Press contributed to this story.