Go to school, win a car

Forget the joy of learning. A junior or senior who shows up regularly at school in LA might — but probably won’t — get a Toyota Scion “urban utility vehicle.” Woody writes:

Attendance at Los Angeles Unified schools has apparently gotten so bad, they’re resorting to bribery to get kids to show up.

Heard this morning on local CBS affilliate KNX newsradio, the Los Angeles Unified School District has decided to award a Toyota to a “deserving student,” defined as one who either shows markedly improved or outstanding attendance this year.

Woody, who thinks it’s up to parents to bully and bribe their own children into going to school, wonders if the car will go to a truly deserving student, who’s undoubtedly already attending, or to a goof-off who cuts the frequency of his cutting.

About Joanne


  1. WoodysWoundup says:

    No, no, Joanne… motivating, see? I motivate my kids to, um, wait…

    I homeschool. Moot point. Never mind.

    Thanks for the post!

  2. They do (or at least did) the car bribing thing in the Clark Country (Las Vegas) School District too. The way they did is you didn’t actually win title to the car, but a insultingly short-term lease (6 months or so) for the vehicle. Of course most people would simply leave when they cut the school day short for the “mandatory” assemblies unless they had to wait for busing so it’s not likely most students were even aware of the district’s ineffective efforts.

  3. I’m a frequent critic of our public school system, but the merit of this gimmick speaks for itself. To the defense of schools, on the other hand, we should all well know by now that student learning and participation has less to do with the school itself than the values of the students. If the students weren’t taught the value of learning and working from their parents or guardians, there isn’t much the schools can do get them to do the same.

  4. this is just like those parents who offer their goof-off kids $5 for every A (or whatever the going rate is) and the kids who actually work hard and care about their grades get a pat on the head (well, and an education…but I thought it was monumentally unfair when I was a young teenager that I could get all A’s and get a “good job!” from my dad, while some of my friends would rake in $30 or more). I bet there’s going to be some bitterness among the students with good attendance if a former slacker wins the car.

    And doesn’t this just reinforce the “all you need to do is show up” mentality? Already we have some college students who think that showing up to class, even if they never study or hand in homework, should be good for at least a B.

    I wonder what employers would have to say about being told they should offer a new car to the people with the lowest use of sick/personal days…(And for that matter, doesn’t it perhaps encourage kids to go to school sick, and pass the bug on to others?)

    I think this is a bad idea, all around.


  1. #144 – “Toys” for Attendance

    Attendance at Los Angeles Unified schools has apparently gotten so bad, they’re resorting to bribery to get kids to show up.