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Old 06-20-2007, 11:48 AM
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Angry NYC announces plan to offer cash incentives to students

What ever happened to the days of children knowing that they had to attend school? What does this teach our kids if we bribe them to attend school? I am just over this!


Story Highlights

• Program will offer cash incentives for good grades, classroom attendance
• Mayor Bloomberg: "We are serious about tackling poverty in New York City"
• Critics say program reinforces focus on testing, not learning

NEW YORK (CNN) -- In a move that has gained nation-wide attention, New York City officials announced on Monday the details of an anti-poverty program that will offer, amongst other things, cash incentives to low-income students with good grades and classroom attendance.

"We are serious about tackling poverty in New York City and are committed to finding innovative ways of doing so," remarked Mayor Bloomberg in a press release.

The program, called "Opportunity NYC," will award the families of elementary, middle and high school students up to $50 a month for 95% school attendance, $25 for attending parent-teacher conferences and $50 for obtaining a library card. (My son has had a library card since he was 5!)

Students who test well are eligible to receive up to $600 for each passing grade on the Regents exam, as well as a $400 bonus for graduating.

The program is not without its critics.

"It's unconscionable what they're doing, and it makes it very clear that testing has become a curriculum and there isn't any real learning going on," commented Jane Hirschman from -- an organization dedicated to fighting the excessive, high-stakes testing of students.

"Everyone takes the test and everyone gets their money," Hirschman said.

The program will be implemented in some of the poorest areas of New York City and service 2,550 families at incomes below 130 percent of the federal poverty level, according to the press release.

I would like to know how they plan on fighting poverty by bribing kids to attend school. If this doesn't show that schools get 'Points' to just have a head count in school, I don't know what does.

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Old 06-21-2007, 06:36 AM
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This just doesn't sound right to me at all.

$50 to obtain a library card???? My kids have had there library cards since kindergarten.

And are these kids going to use the library after they get the card and the $50.....

I agree with you about the schools needing head counts to get points.

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Old 06-29-2007, 12:07 PM
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Oh that whole idea is just plain wrong!! First the incentives seem to be offered to low income students. As much as I am sure they need the money, what are the other students being offered? Are they just expected to attend regularly and get good grades while others are being paid to do it? What ever happened to going to school because that is what children are required to do, learning for the sake of learning and being smart, and getting a library card because reading is great entertainment and fun. Good grades should in incentives in themselves!! I feel any money this program pays children could be put to much better use such as school books, more teachers hired, better afterschool programs, field trips and school programs, healthier school lunches. Paying certain students to do something that others have to do regardless is just not fair.
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Old 06-29-2007, 02:13 PM
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That's the part that makes me cranky, getting rewards for bad behaviour, it will eventually makes those kids that pay and do the right thing on $ he border line think it's not worth it, possibly slip, and try to get their $ worth from the govt and be negative that way.
Not on the same scale but ds2 gets so mad when the bad kids in his class get a reward for normal behaviour and the kids that re good all the time get nothing.

*This is the first I've heard of this, your post, I have not heard any other way.
Just because they have a library card that also does not mean they will use it, will they track that to?

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Old 06-29-2007, 03:22 PM
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Give the student a chance to earn money in an account that goes toward a college education but don't give the parents the awards!
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Last edited by BLTN_Mom; 06-29-2007 at 03:24 PM.
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Old 06-29-2007, 05:23 PM
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BLTN_Mom That is an excellent idea. Give the children money in an account to further their education rather than let the parents get the money. There are so many other better ideas out there than what Mayor Bloomburg is suggesting.
“Before you speak, it is necessary for you to listen, for God speaks in the silence of the heart.”

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Old 07-07-2007, 06:31 AM
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Don't they realize that many of those low-income students are that way because they are in families that are on drugs and expect the government to help them? We cannot keep being a strong super-power if we don't expect our citizens to stand on their own 2 feet.

I personally think that parents of children who don't go to school, don't make good grades, and so on should lose welfare, food stamps, and so on. I wrote a paper a while back on something similar and it was about the inmates who whine and gripe about not getting name brand tennis shoes, the hair cut that they like, and other things. These inmates cannot be forced to work in a job. I feel that the ones that refuse to work should be given pinto beans and bread with butter. Why should they get the better food if they refuse to work and they aren't disabled?

This country is really coming down to a give-me, give-me mentality. I don't think it would be inhuman to expect these parents to be responsible for their children or go to jail, do community service, and so on. Parents shouldn't be given gifts if they obey the law.

I agree that they need to do this service for ALL families and not just low-income. Am I wrong in that all children in the United States are already given a free education and library cards are fee to everyone and library books are free? I would be all for giving free pencils, paper, and so on to low-income families for school though. Okay, I will get off my soapbox.

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