Mail-In Honor Society

Ousted Golden Key founder running for-profit honor group for high schoolers

A man who was forced out by scandal from the nation's largest college honor society now is running a new, for-profit honor club for high school students. And some educators are worried. James Lewis founded Golden Key in the 1970s. But he left the college honor society two years ago after an internal report accused him of sloppy accounting and inappropriate behavior with female college students. Now, Lewis heads the National Society of High School Scholars. The group is for-profit and charges students 45 dollars for membership. But educators warn it's little more than a vanity honor designed to make money by selling students an award to tack on their college applications. They say students shouldn't have to pay for recognition. Lewis insists his group offers real benefits. It has an advisory board that includes writer Maya Angelou and actors Edward Norton and Kevin Spacey. But it's unclear whether the full board has ever met.