Chicago’s superintendent will bribe — um, reward — high school students for showing up. The Chicago Sun-Times reports:
Tickets to sporting events and coupons for Walgreens drug stores are among the incentives that will be offered to Chicago public high school students this year to get them to show up for class more often.
Some kids likened the idea to bribes, but Chicago Schools CEO Arne Duncan said he was merely trying to “incent improvement.”
A 2 percent increase in attendance would bring in an extra $55 million in state aid. Students who heard the announcement weren’t enthusiastic.
“We can’t bribe children to go to school,” said Paola Hidalgo, a Hancock senior who stood behind the mayor in the library. “It’s our responsibility to go to school. Teachers can’t do miracles.”
Schools may say “OK, I’ll give you a prize right now,” Paola said. “But if you don’t want to be there, you’ll just take the prize [and do what you want]. Are they going to keep on giving you more stuff to stay in school?”
I’m with Paola. The incentive for attending school should be the chance to learn.
I won a trophy for perfect attendance in fourth grade. My teacher had won it in a dance contest at the Hotel Fontainebleau in Miami Beach. I cherished it because it came from Mr. Parker, a brilliant teacher. I would not have shown up every day for a Walgreen’s coupon.