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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Would you like fries with that A?



Reportcard_2 Who doesn't like getting praise for a job well done in school? Even a reward or two from parents is nice.

But Seminole County schools have taken the concept of incentives for a good report card to a different plane, one that's getting noted nationally, and not necessarily in a positive way.

The district recently agreed to give McDonald's Happy Meals to elementary school students who have good grades and attendance. Their report card jackets feature the golden arches and Ronald's cheesy grin.

Some parents already have started complaining that they don't like the blatant advertising effort, or the not-so-subtle connection that's being made between good grades and fast food - especially in this time when everyone seems so worried about childhood obesity.

School district officials said the McDonald's program, part of a business partnership, simply replaced a similar deal with Pizza Hut. But the Pizza Hut arrangement didn't include such obvious branding, some noted.

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood already has jumped on the issue, sending out an e-mail urging McDonald's to stop advertising on children's report cards. "It’s a terribly troubling trend," Susan Linn, the group's director, told the New York Times. Read the group's press release here.

District officials told the Orlando Sentinel they're rethinking the promotion.

Related stories: Straight A's, with burger as a prize, NY Times, 12/06/2007; Seminole students get fast-food bonus on report cards, Orlando Sentinel, 12/06/2007 (Image from Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood press release)

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:29am]


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