City Officials Hope To Make School Cool

Written by Jason Singer on . Posted in Education, Posts.

In New York City’s
ongoing plan to bribe students to do well, Mayor Bloomberg and his
administration have just upped the ante (and the technology). According to a new
, the city will send encouraging text messages to minority and
low-income students, and will offer them cell phones, sporting tickets, concert
tickets, free minutes and ring tones to do well in the classroom.

Of course, this might end up backfiring. Sure the students might
get good grades initially, but then they’ll get Knicks tickets as their prize, and
they’ll go to the games and see how much money you can make without a college
degree. Then they’ll go home, listen to their new Soulja Boy ring tones—maybe
even his song “Report Card”—and he’ll sing, “You know when you jut get
your report card and you have all Fs on it, you just want to take it back to the
teacher and say through some Ds on there bitch!” Yep, then all will be right in
the world.

Still, Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein thinks something’s
got to change. “How do you get people to think about achievement in communities
where, for historical or other reasons, there isn’t necessarily demand for
that?” he said. “We want to create an environment where kids know education is
something you should want. Some people come to school with an enormous appetite
for learning and others do not — that’s the reality.” The problem is, kids don’t
necessarily have an appetite for learning under this plan, they have an appetite
for the perks that come with learning. When those run out, will they still want
to succeed?