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?


Renae said...

It seems to me this is just preparing students to get paid by the government as adults. What ever happened to personal responsibility? I think we gave it up when we decided the government was responsible for education.

It is the government's job to protect us. Coercion and force work well when defending a nation from attack but do not work when encouraging individuals to learn.

Anonymous said...

Maybe some smart child will pocket this money and then bribe a parent/teacher with some of it to keep himself from actually attending school!

I post in jest!

The Red Pencil

Anonymous said...

i believe school should be a privilege not a chore! Kids shold not have to be bribed into wanting a better future. and those whose parents have a high income dont neccessarily need the money inorder for the kids to stay in school, they can by their childs education some place else. its also a matter if the child will abuse the privilege given to him/her.

Anonymous said...

I was shocked to read the comments on this page, have you never stopped to think about students from low income families who may leave school at the first chance just so they can provide for themselves and their families? Paying children to stay at school should not be seen as bribery, but a valuable opportunity. Children who stay in school will have better educational life chances, enter higher paid professions and surly it is not hard to understand that education is the most effective route out of poverty. The comments on this page should really be more throughly examined.

Gus said...

anonymous 11:56
What is shocking is that you are buying the nonsense that because they are poor we have to bribe them to get a good education. A valuable opportunity? ROFLMAO that is the most absurd notion. Staying in school my friend is far different then getting a good education. The folks you propose to bribe to stay in school most likely are the same kids who would be staying in substandard urban schools that are failing.

No doubt, their families are already getting public assistance, so making them more dependent on public handouts is a good idea to you? Sure, why not incentivize dependency - that's such a good plan and already has been so successful in producing independent and self sufficient adults. NOT.

Why don't you examine the REAL reason why these kids are dropping out or truant.. it is because the system is not serving them well at all. They are bored, the schools are dangerous, the information they are receiving is irrelevant to their lives and they recognize it as a total waste of their time.