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Stranger than Fiction: Cash for Grades
posted by: Alix | November 18, 2011, 02:16 PM   

In a story traditionally reserved for high school urban legends, Florida math teacher Jeff Spires was suspended over allegations that the veteran educator was actually allowing students to pay for their grades on quizzes and tests.

Mr. Spires, a teacher at Charlotte County High School in Charlotte County, Florida since 2002, was suspended without pay on October 14 and resigned two weeks later after several students came forward with pay-for-grade scheme allegations.

Shockingly, Mr. Spires admitted to administrators that he had in fact accepted cash for grades, claiming he changed grades for money because he was experiencing financial hardship over a bankruptcy, trouble with police, numerous arrests, and recent jail time. "Maybe I see the kids are as desperate as I am," he told the school's leaders.

According to a report by his school that was shared with the media, Mr. Spires admitted that "he had taken money from two different math students in exchange for improving their grades in math class." All students had to do was staple or paper clip cash to the test or quiz they wished Mr. Spires to fix.

One student claimed to pay the mat teacher as much as $40 on two occasions to change grades on tests and quizzes. He was awarded a 'B' grade on his report, when in fact he deserved a 'C' according to investigators. Another student paid $15 and $30 for his grade to be improved on a quiz, although his final grade was not changed.

Drawing the line at small amounts, school officials allege that Mr. Spires did, however, turn down an offer of $200 from a senior to change her quarter grade to an 'A' after her marks were already recorded.

Charlotte County Public Schools Superintendent Douglas Whittaker was shocked by the whole issue. "This is one of the most disturbing events I've seen in my 40 years," he stated.

What do you think about the cash-for-grades scheme?
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