Monday, July 30, 2007
Newt Ginrich Wants A Detroit Experiment
I've never been to any of Detroit's public schools. But from what I've heard from the natives, they're pretty f'ed up. Granted, you can only believe so much of what people tell you, but I think I formed my own little opinion about Detroit's public school system when I read a story on ESPN.com where Detroit-native and current University of Oregon Ducks guard Tajuan Porter said "I didn't even know Oregon was a state" before choosing to go there on a hoops scholarship.
So, in hopes of increasing Detroit public schools' graduation rates and downing their dropout rates, Ginrich suggested that the state "fundamentally replace the Detroit school system with a series of experiments to see if they’ll work."
Among his proposed experiments is the idea that students be paid for maintaining good grades. He suggests that the students be paid what a McDonald's employee makes if they maintain a B average.
Well, that's just BRILLIANT! Pay the smart kids the same wages that a burger flipper earns. That's guaranteed to make them want to strive for more. Who knows, if they excell at extracurricular activities, they just might pull in the same money the nuggets-fryer gets.
C'mon. Really, how does this suggestion stand to improve anything. It will only lead to more disparaging things happening. Smart kids already get picked on for being nerds and what not, imagine the torture they'll have to go through when the bullies find out they got money too. What about the impact this can have on a child's psyche? They bust thier ass all year to get good grades, and get paid the same a person who most likely chose not to take education seriously? And what about the kids that are like me? The ones that didn't really like school all that much to begin with. Telling me that you'll pay me McDonald's-like wages for getting good grades will give even more incentive to dropout. Why go to school and earn minimum wage when I can just go work at UPS or something? They pay more. And what about the kids who don't get good grades, not only will they feel dumb, they'll feel dumb and broke. Dumb broke muthafuckas are known to cause trouble wherever they're at. So, ultimately, paying public school kids for getting good grades will make the situation worse.
What happened to just bribing or tricking kids into being smart by luring them in with prizes. I remember when I was in elementary school they used to give us Ronald McDonald coupons for getting good grades. Remember BOOK IT? When they gave you free pizza for reading books. Why can't they just do that? Hell, I'm cool with giving the kids XBOX's or something, but not money. Paying these kids for doing shit that they supposed to just do ain't the way to go.