Extra credit for buying teachers some visual aids.


My daughter a junior at MHS.  She came home the other day with “Dad if we buy the teacher a National Geographic DVD I get extra credit and can raise my biology grade an entire level”.  What?

Yup, pretty easy deal.  There are a few strings attached.  Namely besides buying one of the DVD’s from the mans impact on earth series she needed to do a study guide and a test.  Still for $19.99 plus tax that’s a decent return on the investment.   Now we actually may see an A in a class she has struggled in even with the help of a tutor.

But please, don’t tell the teacher if she had asked we would have just gotten it for the class without strings.  We do that in my house.

15 thoughts on “Extra credit for buying teachers some visual aids.”

  1. Doing this for the class with no strings attached is laudable. Doing this for an A…isn’t that bribery? Or worse, if it’s at the teacher’s suggestion, extortion?

    I don’t mean to make a bigger deal of it than it is, as it is certainly a creative way for the teacher to get the tools he/she needs into the classroom when they might otherwise be unavailable, but…

  2. I would have done it without the bribe reward. She’s struggled so hard and has a B+ which isn’t bad. She so wanted an A so this is the nudge to get there.

    Do recall I said she has to write a study guide and a test so it isn’t as simple as buying the video.

    Give the teacher an A for effort and creativitiy in getting her teaching supplies up to snuff in spite of significant funding cuts.

  3. would she get the extra credit if she just wrote the study guide, and not buy the dvd? as a teacher in a school where over 85% of our students qualify for free or reduced lunches, this does strike me as a bit unethical.

  4. I remember my teachers coming up with crazy ways for extra credit. I agree with fazgo, its a great way for a teacher stock up on teaching supplies so that other kids can benefit from one kids “extra credit” report. Especially in these budget cutting times.

  5. I didn’t mean to give the wrong impression, questioning ethics and such. I agree that this is a very creative way for the teacher to get the supplies she needs into the classroom. And, the study guide and test create an educational gain for the student, who does the extra credit work. Like I said, I don’t want to make a bigger deal than it is. On the whole, I think this is a great idea. (Perhaps I shouldn’t have used the ugly “bribe” and “extortion” words.)

    Relating to galaxiekat’s comment: is there an alternative for students who can’t afford the dvd?

  6. Its buying a grade. Nothing less, nothing more.
    It gives an advantage to kids with more financial resources.
    Embarassing anyone would defend this practice.

  7. Why not skip the middle man and give the teacher twenty dollars?

    Unless you have a library of nature docs and you could just make a copy. Would you get the credit for that?

  8. I totally DM it is completely defensable. It is not grade buying. Yes I did spring for the DVD BUT she has to do the work behind it. It is not a gimme grade.

    MUSD has a problem that many of the schools in the SGV have. Those from affluent families ship their kids to private schools. That leaves what is left of the middle class and the outright poor trying to support the schools on our own.

    I have not met a teacher yet within the MUSD who will not work with a parent to come up with extra credit projects that don’t cost a dime. Its about giving a kid the chance to be better and learn more.

    It takes creativity and a devotion to kids to come up with ways for them to get extra credit. Some include the purchase of supplies that will benefit all the kids. I do not have one problem with it.

    I am not a person of means and pretty much personify “starving artist” right now as art is the first thing people cut in a tanking ecnonmy is purchase of luxury items. Could I have used the $20 for something else? Probably. Will it matter even a month ago that I put it to use for the school? No.

    In the end the school wins. My daughter puts for extra work for her grade as this isn’t a gimme. It certainly was not buying a grade as she had work to do along with it.

  9. This is totally paying for grades. I didn’t think I could be more ashamed of the education system in California, but now I am.

  10. Could she have rented the video or borrowed from the library and still been able to earn the same grade?
    If no, its buying a grade. And, my guess is, its illegal.

  11. David we have to just disagree on this and move on. I see nothing wrong nor illegal about putting up wish lists for supplies. I have no problem with how this was handled. This is one of the few things I’ll argue to the end over. It certainly is not buying grades.

    Marshall, my guess is you don’t have school age kids if any of this is news to you. Our public schools have been in tough shape for years. Its an ebb and flow thing. Teachers, especially those that really want the best for their students are always enlisting parents to help however they can. Some can’t financially so they give time in the class room. I do both.

    It sucks our state can’t fund the schools so they are on par with other states. Its a situation that won’t change anytime soon as funding is dependant on a healthy economy.

    If you have not gone into a school, I suggest you take a walk through a public school sometime, talk to a teacher, a volunteer and really get a feel for the challenges our schools are facing. In MUSD alone we are looking at an elementary school or middle school having to be closed and classrooms elsewhere overcrowded to meet the budget cuts. Scary. So whatever it takes I will do.

    In the end I walk away knowing I made a difference in our schools and our kids education. And wanna know something totally sappy? I actually am touched when I get an invitation in my kids homework packet to the “Volunteer Tea” where the Principal and teachers thank all the parents for helping. It tells me I made a difference and I get a lot of satisfaction out of that.

    They get my time, my energy (what little I have) and what little spare money I can have or round up elsewhere, our kids is the resource our future.

    Off my soapbox. Have a nice weekend, I have a Prom, Post-prom breakfast/sleep-over starting at 3AM and a basketball tournament in the OC.

  12. Frazgo-this is the kind of crap our parents NEVER would have done for us. That is why we are a successful generation. Kick your kids ass, she gets the grade she earns. Report the extortion, bribery. If the class needs supplies, hold a carwash or bakesale. The teacher isn’t ‘creative” or laudable for finding alternative ways of raising a grade. That is the basic job of a teacher. He is covering his ass, needing a certain %tage of the class to get ‘good’ marks. A $20 DVD will seal the deal, and buy the grade. Funny how this happens at the end of the semester. Two questions, whose money is it? Yours or your daughters? Secondly, is the proud creative’teacher offering you a 501(c)3 tax receipt since you are the starving artist?. Bullshit, pure bullshit.

  13. I would be very interested in what the Principal has to say about this. This is not an acceptable way of earning a grade.

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