COLLIER COUNTY: The NBC2 investigators have uncovered more controversy in the Collier County School District. Honors journalism students are not only getting graded on how they write, but half their grade is determined based on how many ads they sell for the yearbook.
Collier County School Board Member Linda Abbot says she was shocked to find out students at Naples High School are graded based in part on sales.
Maybe it's a Florida thing, but this same crap happened in my high school. Failure to make $W per quarter, and the best you could get in Journalism was a D. Make under $X, and you go down two letter grades. Make below $Y, and you go down one letter grade. Make $Z or over, and you don't lose any letter grades, but that still means you could earn a C if you do average reporting. And no exceptions.
Another “no exceptions” rule was “everybody in Journalism writes.” Except for my friend Ed B. The journalism teacher made an exception for him—he didn't have to write—because he cut a deal whereby he handled the business side of things.
Nice how that worked, huh?
Me? I never complained (until now) about all the crap assignments I got—the stories that no other students wanted to cover (partly because it was my fault for getting the crap stories in the first place, but that's another story) because as I saw it, if I didn't complain about the assignments, maybe the teacher would exclude me from the “sales grade.”
I got into Journalism to write (well, actually, I got into journalism because the German teacher quit three weeks after school started in my junior year but that's yet another story), not to sell ads. And most newspapers I know of have separate sales departments to handle the advertising.
(As an interesting side story—when the Drama department held fund-raisers, the teacher there never forced me to sell anything. Then again, I cut a deal with her to handle collecting the money and getting it deposited)
I finally got out of Journalism, but it took my Mom threatening the school for them to relent and let me select a new class halfway through the year.