Friday, August 10, 2007

Paying Kids To Stay In School


Apparently in Arizona schools are beginning a program to actually pay students to stay in school.
Imagine that, bribing students to come to school!
Well, at least for now, some non-profit is funding it, instead of the Arizona taxpayers... but chances are if bribery works, the taxpayers will foot the bill eventually.

Not all students are being allowed to join in this pilot program.(That sounds a bit discriminatory to me). However, this is yet another dumb idea which is an attempt to stem the tide of truancy. I am surprised they haven't tried this in Hartford, CT too.

There is so much inherently wrong with this idea I cannot even begin to discuss it.

What happens when $25.00 a week isn't really worth it for a student?
Will they raise the "pay"?
or will they also include other perks like "free health care", or snacks, or free trips, or movie tickets, or heavens knows what else?

The whole idea is really laughable.
But then again, NYC and Mayor Bloomberg have also resorted to bribery.

It looks to me like the whole notion of "compulsory education" is starting to unravel.
Educrats ought to be looking more at the reasons why students drop out of government schools, or go truant, rather than implementing dumb programs to get (or force) kids to attend.

I've been reading articles about truancy and "drop-outs". Here's a few reasons cited by some teens who dropped out:
- Constant harassment by bullies.
- I despised my teachers and/or classmates and could no longer deal with them.
- I got an attractive job offering.
- I did not feel safe in school (or going to school) anymore
- I got pregnant
- What they were teaching was dumb/boring/irrelevant
- I needed to get a job to supplement my family's income or support myself
- Personal issues at home
- Got too far behind and felt overwhelmed by school demands
- Not being challenged enough by curriculum

What educrats ought to realize is that the traditional government school model may not fit everyone's needs anymore (not that it ever really did).

Any teenager considering dropping out of a government school should read The Teenage Liberation Handbook: How to Quit School and Get a Real Life and Education

Dropping out does not mean ending one's education entirely, and one should not be bribed, forced, or coerced, to stay in a government school, especially a bad/failing one.

While I understand that not everyone might be like Einstein, read this from O'Donnell web:
Einstein dropped out in 10th grade, and never really did well in school anyway. He taught himself math and science from textbooks that an engineer uncle gave him. He was initially denied college admission due to poor language skills. He spent a year at a very unschoolish boarding school, where he excelled, to improve his test scores and get into college.
What do you suppose might have happened if Einstein was paid to stay in school?