February 5th, 2006

Attendance for Money or Cars or Ipods

I know we have a few teachers that lurk around here on a daily basis, I would love to hear your take on this.

Attendance at Chelsea High School had hovered at a disappointing 90 percent for years, and school officials were determined to turn things around. So, last fall they decided to give students in this poverty-stung city just north of Boston a little extra motivation: students would get $25 for every quarter they had perfect attendance and another $25 if they managed perfect attendance all year.

I know my reward back in a day was that I got to graduate, oh, and I didn’t have to worry about a swift kick in the ass from my parents for not showing up to school. It is interesting that the article points out that the No Child Left Behind program is part of what is fueling these types of reward programs.

Posted in Education

2 Comment(s)

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  1. ascap_scab Says :

    In my day, we still had other “rewards” for attending school, like sports (now too much of a liability) and band (now too costly) and clubs (now too ghay) and dances (Footloose anyone?).  Today’s entire emphasis on “teaching to the test” leaves no outlets for electives like shop class or drama club.  If all I ever got was hours of lectures on writing and basic math, I’d skip out too.

    The “lure” of a diploma no longer has the power or mystique it once had when you know any job a teen could get will likely get snatched up by Grandpa trying to stretch his SS check into paying for heat.  Besides, when both parents work, who’s to supervise on the home front and keep Lil’ Johnny from whacking bad guys on the X-Box all day??

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  2. Lizzy Says :

    That is bribing the students to attend school.  Now when we had perfect attendance for the quarter we got a button to place on our uniform.  

    I would agree with Ascap_scap in that most schools, as 99 percent  now DO teach to the test.  The tests generally take place in Jan, March and May.  So from Sept to Jan they are drilling those students. 

    The saddest thing about the whole teaching to the test is that they hang the test over the students heads, saying that they must pass it, when in fact that the tests do not effect the student’s grades in school at all. 

     Schools then proclaim their (as in teachers) excellence if that grade does well on the tests.  However, if the students do poorly they blame it on the students, by stating that particular cohort of students do not do well as a whole.

     Raise a child, not a test score.

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