Apple accounted for 20% of all US retail sales growth in Q1

Apple led U.S. retail growth in the first quarter of calendar 2011, accounting for a whopping 20 percent of all sales growth by publicly traded American retailers during the three-month period.

The data comes from retail sales expert David Berman, who told USA Today that he believes Apple’s retail success is “mind-boggling.” In the quarter which ended in March, Apple’s U.S. sales saw an 80 percent increase by $4.6 billion…

During the three-month span to start 2011, Apple’s retail sales were up 32 percent, and in-store revenue from Mac sales was up 90 percent. Revenue from retail stores was $3.18 billion, a year-over-year increase of 90 percent…

While international expansion has become a priority, Apple also has big plans for its stores in the U.S. The company’s flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City is currently under renovation, as the company is spending $6.7 million to replace the giant 32-foot glass cube that serves as an entrance to the underground retail store.

Though I’m a recent fanboy – I switched a few years back after a quarter-century of plodding in the wonderful world of Wintel – I post this because of discussions among investors who are already panicking themselves over what they call Bubble 2.0. That fear can be laid at their own feet if they’re foolish enough to make the same mistakes at root of the previous tech bubble: like investing in companies without a profitable business plan. The watchword among the timorous is “don’t invest in tech!”

But, Apple’s story doesn’t exist in a vacuum. What company followed them into 2nd place in retail sales growth in the 1st quarter? Um, Amazon.com.

N.C. school (briefly) sold 20 test points for $20

A fundraiser at a North Carolina middle school sold students 20 test points for a $20 donation.

That’s enough to raise a B to an A on two tests, or a failing score to a D.

Or at least it did until the News & Observer newspaper began asking questions, and the Wayne County school administrators ordered Goldsboro Middle School to stop the fundraiser.

They also issued this statement:

Yesterday afternoon, the district administration met with [Rosewood Middle School principal] Mrs. Shepherd and directed the following actions be taken: (1) the fundraiser will be immediately stopped; (2) no extra grade credit will be issued that may have resulted from donations; and (3) beginning November 12, all donations will be returned.

Susie Shepherd told the newspaper that a parent advisory council had come up with the idea and that she had endorsed it. She said the council is looking for a new way to raise money.

Last year, they did chocolates, and it didn’t generate anything,” she says.

Here’s a school system with one administrator too many.