Thursday, November 15, 2007

Cell Phones

I thought I was confused when the DoE proposed the Cash for Kids program. But the brilliance doesn't end there apparently. According to a recent New York Times article Plan to Use Cellphones as a Reward for Good Schoolwork Begins to Emerge, the DoE wants to reward students with cell phones. The appropriate response would be, "Huh?" The department of education wants to keep the current cell phone ban in place, even though a student now has a LEGAL right to carry a phone to and from school (which, by the way, would imply that the school is breaking the law if a phone is confiscated and not returned by the end of the day).

These cell phones would all be donated by Motorola and they might even have have ringtones recorded by famous rappers like Jay-Z! I'm really mad. What a waste of time, and money (and no, the city isn't paying for it, but somebody produces those phones). Also, the DoE is making a stereotypical generalization: all low income kids (the ones who would reap the benefits of this project) listen to rap. As mentioned in another recent post, if class size was lower, students just wouldn't use the cell phones because they would get caught. Furthermore, why is the city providing contraband? If they want test scores to go up...spend the money to improve learning. Don't give us a fake upgrade to a system that isn't working (Contracts for Excellence), or motivations that only apply to some students (Cash for Kids). Spend the real money to improve everybody's education!

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