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Gradebook

Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Come to school, win a car?

27

August

Unknown.jpegWith kids back in school again, perhaps it's only natural for adults to begin worrying about kids skipping school.

We've all heard the mantra — You can't learn if you're not there. Plus, let's face it, schools get dinged in the Florida rating system (which is spreading nationally) if students ditch test days, drop out or fail to graduate on time. Jobs and money are on the line.

But still, do kids need bribes to attend classes and learn? 

In Houston, Texas, the school district has developed a project with Harvard University where select elementary children and parents will get paid up to $1,000 for doing well in math, as KTRK-TV reports. 

Closer to home, high school seniors at 32 Florida high schools could win a Chevy Cruze if they attend 98 percent of the school year (or better), the Vero Beach Press-Journal reports.

We're torn. After all, adults get paid to work. And perhaps the lure of money, or a car, or some other incentive might just be enough to prod a student to stick around and learn a thing or two. Just yesterday we heard a teacher talk about how excited her freshmen get to receive a scratch and sniff sticker on a paper. That's good, right?

On the other hand, we all know that success in the "real world" depends more and more on education, combined with hard work and dedication. And if kids can't show the "stick-to-itiveness" of bettering themselves for their own good without a handout at the other end, well, what happens when the incentives run dry? (Think pay cuts, or a reduction in benefits, or some of the other things happening commonly in the world of work these days.) Do they just give up? 

Your thoughts?

[Last modified: Friday, August 27, 2010 6:10am]

    

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