I would suggest that instead of the $20 donation, the young people volunteer their time in community service programs. For example, if they volunteered a block of hours at the local food bank, or at any church that provides meals to the elderly and the homeless, perhaps they would receive an important lesson about appreciating their blessings.
A lesson in values, instead of materialism, is a lesson that would stay with them the rest of their lives.
Academic grades should be determined by scholastic accomplishment and positive behavior only.
If the school’s principal feels it is wrong “for one grade to ruin nine weeks’ worth of work,” then she should encourage her students to earn extra points by participating in volunteer programs helping needy people in the community. Assisting the disadvantaged is a far more constructive method of bolstering a weak grade and will simultaneously provide important lessons for life.
Offering points for money — even if its disguised as a “fundraiser” — sends a poor message to students and will only serve to further exacerbate the sad state of our educational system.
Recently, I’ve come across several articles in the press about educators who fear disappointing their students with low or failing marks. Cleverly, these teachers employ various techniques that conceal the factual grades of underperforming students. I believe that this approach poses a serious danger to the academic well-being of our youth, as it prevents growth and stymies excellence. How can we expect intellectual progress when neither students nor their parents have an accurate evaluation of achievement — or lack thereof? Instead of confusing and misleading scoring methods, we need to institute in all our schools procedures that accurately portray the scholastic status of each and every individual student. This is the only way to ensure that our children achieve proficiency and are properly prepared to establish the next generation of a productive American society.