Monday, October 15, 2007

Cash for Kids Update

In the latest Cash for Kids news: Twenty-five NYC public high schools are participating in a program in which students will receive substantial amounts of money for achieving passing scores on Advanced Placement tests. A score of 3 wil get the student $500, a 4, $750, and a 5, a whopping $1000. I would love to get $1000! But, alas, that is not the point. The goal of this program is to encourage students from lower-income and minority families to succeed in high school so that they can go on to college and build successful lives for themselves. And if we think about this in a somewhat shallow way, a lot of people love money.

But as I mentioned in a previous post, I am still offended by this concept the Department of Education seems to have hatched that people from poor or minority backgrounds would only want to learn if there was some kind of monetary reward involved.

Yes, I know that, in NYC, the graduation rate for people who fall into these categories happens to be abismally low, and the dropout rate abismally high, but the real incentive to do well should be the success that comes along with getting high school and college degrees. This also brings me to the belief held by many members of NYCSU (myself included) that, instead of money, competitive, challenging, exciting internships and opportunities of the sort should be given to these high-achieving students in order to inspire them and make them see all that is waiting for them in the world, should they choose to apply themselves.

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