Dec 10 2008

Getting paid for good grades!

Published by at 3:00 am under I Don't Get It,Jerks,Why?!?

Are you KIDDING ME? Have you heard about this bullshit? Yeah, that’s right, schools are now starting to pay kids for good grades. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it now, fuck off.

What happened to people doing things simply because it’s the right thing to do? What happened to kids doing what they are told to do because they are kids and don’t really have a say in the matter? When did Americans become so afraid of children and why must we cater to their every whim? Why am I so much smarter than everyone?!? Probably because I was forced to do my homework without the option of getting rewarded for it.

My reward for getting decent grades was being allowed to live in our house and eat food. Doesn’t seem like I deserved much more than that if you ask me.

School sucked, I hated every second of it. It was BORING and bringing home a mountain of homework every night was torture for me. I was a smart kid but a terrible student, however I am endlessly thankful that I had to suffer through 17 (18?) years of school because it set me up for life. It taught me that sometimes, probably usually, life is not fun. I think that is more valuable than most of the knowledge I absorbed. School teaches you that sometimes shit stinks and all you can do is breathe it in.

Bribing kids for doing what they should be doing anyway is ridiculous. I don’t care if it’s grades or picking up their toys. If my kid went to a school that paid for good grades I would immediately take that money from them and spend it on something for myself. Life can be annoying, get used to it.

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26 comments so far

26 comments to “Getting paid for good grades!”

  1. Xinaon 10 Dec 2008 at 7:35 am

    Is this for real? What schools are doing this? I did pretty well in school. Are they going to set up some sort of retro pay system for the rest of us?

    I really think they should. We did well without the promise of money and now that we’re old enough to understand money there should be some sort of compensation.

  2. AngrySaron 10 Dec 2008 at 8:43 am

    I agree with Xina, we should get retroactive “rewards” of some kind if we turned out to be good contributing members of society. Hey, I graduated magna cum laude from college. Where’s my suitcase of cash? lol

    You know why this paying for grades stuff is happening… it’s because parents are so afraid of someone else crying “child abuse” on them. People are afraid to spank their kids, deny them candy at the checkout line, and (god forbid) expect them to get good grades without stupid bribes. They need to learn to be responsible… IMO (I feel so old saying this at 25! lol) that’s a lot of what is wrong with this country today. Too many whiny entitled brats because their parents gave into their every whim.

  3. Jasonon 10 Dec 2008 at 9:43 am

    I don’t know about kids getting paid by schools for grades but I do give my kids money for their good schoolastic performance. I would like to say first that my children don’t get alot of candy and don’t get soda, they do get spanked when they deserve punishment and are polite and considerate of others. I feel like we live in a reward based society. I work because it affords me the opportunity to do the things I want to do in life. If my performance is better than expected then I am rewarded with a raise. My children receive a base salary of room and board, when their behavior and/or performance exceeds what is expected I see no reason to overlook that and not reward them. My children have yet to bring anything less than an A in any subject home on a report card. Childhood is the time required to learn how to function in society and I’m not here to be my children’s friend. We negotiate the amount of money they are awarded in return for their good performance. I see nothing wrong with this practice.

  4. scotton 10 Dec 2008 at 10:15 am

    Nothing wrong with a reward-based system, but cash is not the option. It teaches kids a horrible value system. People should learn to expect rewards for a job well done – the stick and carrot concept is right. But the rewards should be appropraite to the task that is expected.

    There are so many options for rewards for kids that not only expand their world view and development, it keeps them engaged. For instance, instead of cash for all A’s, a reward could be opportunities to participate in non-classroom activities at school, such as special fieldtrips, free time in the gym, library time, a chance to make a school video etc. You dont need tax dollars to be creative.

    Between Pimp My Ride, Cribs, and constant news of Corporate greed, hasnt it become evident that our culture preaches the excess of money and status and not the reward of being a well formed member of society?

  5. Yours Trulyon 10 Dec 2008 at 11:29 am

    Are you serious? The schools are paying kids for good grades? When did this happen? Why am I asking so many questions when I know they won’t all be answered?

    Seriously, if kids want money, they should get jobs like the rest of us.

  6. Paul in St. Paulon 10 Dec 2008 at 5:11 pm

    OK, so there are two different issues everyone is writing about: One, parents with enough disposable income to pay their children for getting good grades; and two, schools with low-income kids paying their kids for getting good grades. Both are in practice, but they are not the same thing. Families with disposable income can make the choice to reward their kids with cash or other incentives. You might disagree with this, as I do, because it equates learning and effort with money, but it might bring results from kids who aren’t working to potential for a myriad of reasons. On the other hand, poor kids, who I teach, and who do not get paid, might reasonably benefit from a monetary reward for good grades because, frankly, many don’t see money as compensation for work because the adults around them don’t have jobs; plus, earning good grades didn’t mean shit if you weren’t going to get hired for the job anyway because of your race, which has been a reality for generations. That said, I’m against paying kids in poverty for academic achievement because, as YJMML points out, life doesn’t always work that way, and it sets up a sense of entitlement that the moneyed kids already have and which often makes them insufferable. Also, everyone should be aware of rampant grade inflation, especially when helicopter parents badger and intimidate the teacher into turning their C kid into an A kid. They should skip the kid and just pay off the teacher for that grade. No, I’ve never done this; my families are almost all poor and respectful, and I’m even pricier than Rod Blagojevich.

  7. marcon 10 Dec 2008 at 7:47 pm

    I actually agree with the concept – but in reverse. They start the year, each with a 100 dollars or so – put into an escrow/account. Then, every time they fuck up – grades or behavior – they have to pay—-kinda like a pay for your sins kinda thing. If, they run out of money – they get kicked out of school – better luck next year.

    Teaches them reward and consequence and maybe….just maybe, the value of being a good person….since…. apparently, that is not being taught at home anymore.

  8. You Just Made My List!on 10 Dec 2008 at 8:54 pm

    Marc, perfect! This must happen.

    Paul, very good points. It’s nice to hear a teacher’s perspective.

  9. Paul in St. Paulon 10 Dec 2008 at 9:31 pm

    I love the idea of setting up and then decking kids’ accounts. However, I really don’t want this to be retroactive; I shiver to think of the interest I must have accrued from debts left over from junior high algebra.

  10. Yubberson 11 Dec 2008 at 12:57 am

    Can I make a point? I’m going to make a point…. why aren’t teachers/parents simply teaching children values? The focus here has been the pros and cons to rewarding children for their good behavior. If I would have had an extra $5 to use at the local dollar store- hell I would have done my science project a little sooner rather than 2 weeks late every time. Kids will respond to rewards the way they are expected to. Give em’ candy and all they will do is try to figure out the who what how’s and why’s so they can get some more.

    The way I was raised I was both rewarded and punished. I’ve learned how to get candy and how to get smacked on my bottom. I didn’t learn any lessons from either. I simply learned how to get away with shit. Rewards and punishments were short-lived and bi-polar (if you will). The values I learned growing up were influenced by the conversations I had with my parents, teachers and eventually friends. Note: I didn’t absorb everything that was pushed my way, especially as a child when there was much that held no relevance to my life. Nonetheless bits and pieces gather over time, shaped and molded me to work on being the best person I can be. Today I understand my duty as an adult and I cannot think back to one time in my life where an extra buck here or an extra smack there was the reason for it.

    It takes buckets of time and loads of patience and what I see schools doing here is trying to mass-produce results. It’s shameful and goes against the future structures of young minds. Hug a kid when they’re good, show them you’re dissapointed when they’re not, but most important Explain to them why. This will be their ultimate impression.

  11. SanFranon 11 Dec 2008 at 10:04 am

    Growing up, right & wrong were clearly defined… The fear of disappointing my parents, friends or teachers was enough to make me think twice about most things I thought were questionable… I’d also like to add, I was never – NEVER – hit or verbally assaulted by my parents as a means of reinforcement. Not even a single spanking.

    In school, we, for the most part, respected our teachers and they respected us. They knew our parents, siblings, situations. In place was a system of social and academic involvement in our lives. We also were taught, collectively by our parents, peers and teachers the now-vague fundament of consequence and how, if you messed up or were lazy, you didn’t get rewarded, and were often not given a second chance.

    We didn’t have “social promotion”. And after talking with Marc (who posted above) the other day, I learned that today, the expectation isn’t necessarily that kids graduate on their own volition and accord – but that the schools push them all through the system, in the proper amount of time, no matter what. Why is this? I think you have to look beyond the individual school systems, and the motor behind them. Look at No Child Left Behind… Look at the systematic reduction of budgets for educators… Look at the standardized testing requirements… They are ridiculous, and non-applicable towards most students these days. You can’t necessarily throw a standardized test at two kids, ones who may have disparate home/social/economic/familial/mental situations & capacities, and expect standardized results. They are not the measure of one’s mind. I was a bright kid, got good grades, but sucked at some of these tests – and the teachers were ALLOWED and EXPECTED to offer their expertise to not only advocate for us, but also be creative and adapt their teaching style to what worked.

    Today, teachers are so restrained that it’s a wonder we even have any to begin with. Public school teachers should be tax-exempt, and allowed to be creative in the classroom. Rewarding kids with cash is foolish, clearly – and will quickly only set up an expectation. Some kids are addicted to learning, others not – recognize this and work within those confines, and most importantly, make them critical thinkers.. problem solvers.. who cares what they get on SATs or the likes thereof…

  12. Jasonon 11 Dec 2008 at 10:18 am

    Paul in St. Paul you make some excellent points that we should take note of but also I’m a little concerned about some of the things you said. Statements like, “earning good grades didn’t mean shit if you weren’t going to get hired for the job anyway because of your race”, are alarming to me as an African-American male who has worked very hard to achieve goals and be successful. I’m the first person in my family to graduate college, neither of my parents graduated high school. While I don’t look at the world with rose colored glasses and am not simple enough to believe racism is a thing of the past and the struggle is not over, I do believe that as individuals if we prepare properly we can then we have the opportunity to get any job. We may not get every job we apply for but who does? I’m disheartened by many of my fellow African-Americans. It’s not enough to get the proper education and training then apply for a position, meet a perspective employer and have tattoos on your neck and arms and hands or to wear clothes that don’t fit properly(pants with butt hanging out) or to speak to them as though you are talking to your friends(slang). If you want to be professional then you must present yourself as a professional. As African-Americans we must overcome some of the typical “thugish” stereotypes and present ourselves in a manner that portrays us in the best possible light. We live in a time when an African-American can aspire to any position and career we choose and not be held back in any way by a preconcieved notion that “what does it matter I’m black and won’t get it no matter how qualified”. I raise my children in all things to prepare for the world and how it is without, as much as I can, putting my bias into their views of the world.

  13. Paul in St. Paulon 11 Dec 2008 at 6:19 pm

    Yes, times are changing, but a lot of kids coming from generations of poverty do not have instilled in them a value of education, largely because that education was not rewarded in the long run. Jason, maybe your parents pushed formal education as a priority even though they didn’t get it themselves; this is crucial and I see it in some of the families I work with. Other families understand that education is important, but their lives are completely disconnected from the system. The challenge is to draw them into “the system,” which is hard when it means getting past years of negative and racist experiences in schooling.

    Yubbers, I know that my school is highly focused on values, and Jason, a lot of it is centered on values that will get you a job in a competitive world: presentation, speech, and demeanor included. But remember that in a public school, we are teaching values to kids whose parents may be both incarcerated or are making a living by dealing or gang-related work. Getting kids from backgrounds like this to interact in a socially acceptable manner is a major hurdle.

    And SanFran, yes, No Child Left Behind sucks for numerous reasons, but it does hold teachers accountable for kids’ success, regardless of race, income, or language, all of which have been used as excuses for poor performance in the past. Unfortunately, it doesn’t hold wider society accountable for continued poverty – someone should have toured the neighborhood I work in two years ago to get a taste of the forthcoming foreclosures the middle-class is facing today. It also doesn’t hold families accountable for follow-through at home. And it sure as hell doesn’t fund by need; it’s more punitive than anything. There does need to be some sort of standardized measurement, but I wish it wasn’t a stand-alone. Some kids test well without trying and others test poorly but have great attitude, effort, and other strengths. Still, there needs to be a bottom line somewhere, and we as a nation have to look at each kid as having potential for success and digging it out however we can.

  14. Yubberson 14 Dec 2008 at 2:38 am

    Paul in St. Paul

    I understand the counterpoints you made however; Not all public schools are within the same situation that the school you work at may be. At the public schools I went to (3 actually due to moving) I would be shocked to learn that even a small handful of students parents were incarcerated, in or in relation to a gang, or otherwise incapable of being solid role-models for their children. Nonetheless kids may be presented with an opportunity to make cash rather than learn lessons (which I feel is the wrong way of going about things regarless of their status). This was my only point.

    On a side note:
    I understand within your situation it can become more difficult to instill values within a child who no doubt feels powerless or “dumb” (as most children in negative scenarios do). Still I feel these children are more prone to listening and being influenced by a positive role model than an average middle-class student would. I believe this because when a child (in particular) is at the low end of their rope they are at their crossroads in life. Even at a young age children are already beginning to make very important decisions that will influence the rest of their lives, most obviously in relation to who they are in contact with on a regular basis (parents, teachers, peers, etc.) They can either continue to follow their parents whom they have not been able to rely on or trust and follow someone who believes in them. It’s a fine line but that only makes it all the more easy, with the right guidance, to nudge a student in the right direction.

    Easier said than done right? I don’t think so. Kids need care and attention to the right degrees and anything beyond that is entirely possible.

  15. Jasonon 15 Dec 2008 at 9:04 am

    Paul in St. Paul I just wanted to let you know that I meant no criticism toward you at all. I started my career in environmental health doing school inspections and I have great respect for teachers and the challenge they face daily. I know without doubt I am unequal to that task. I just feel sometimes we as a people (african-americans) take the easy way out. We blame white american for many of the problems only we can correct. We fault white america when we do not achieve all that we feel we should. We call it racism and discrimination. I think it’s high time we as a people discarded that crutch and walked forth straight, tall and proud of who we are and where we’re headed without forgetting where we are from. I recognize the tremendous challenges you face with parents and the often times terrible situations these children come to you from. I grew up in an alcoholic drug addicted home and grades were not exactly the first focus but my parents did make sure I maintained at least a C or I could not participate in sports. Along the way I had a few teachers that took the time to help me and hold me personally accountable for my actions and I have since went back and thanked them. I hope there are still more teachers like that and I hope you are one of them.

  16. You Just Made My List!on 15 Dec 2008 at 9:31 am

    Jason, I would add that Americans in general take the easy way out and look to blame anyone for anything rather than take responsibility for their actions. For example. My company manufactures its own goods. We spent 5 years trying to find a competent American factory and for 5 years we failed. We were forced to move our manufacturing to Mexico. Oh my god, it was night and day! Not only were they amazing but their working conditions were actually MUCH better than what we found in America. When I hear politicians discussing the current economy and they say “the American worker is the best in the world” I cringe. Americans love to discuss how we are the best and often times they are dead wrong. No wonder so many American workers (not all of them) are so incompetent and lazy. They have no incentive to improve because in their minds they are “the best.” Everyone needs to get off their bald eagle for a second and take some responsibility. Nothing is ever anyone’s fault anymore in this country.

    Good lord, I am so smart!

  17. Jasonon 15 Dec 2008 at 11:02 am

    Couldn’t agree with you more! I was only addressing the african-american part in reference to an earlier post by Paul about people not getting jobs based on race. We are a far cry from the America we were in the 40’s 50’s and 60’s when American was the greatest industrialized nation in the world.

  18. Jeffon 21 Dec 2008 at 10:07 pm

    Ah, so I bet you’re real happy about Obama’s new education secretary, Arne Duncan:

    In September 2008, Duncan launched a program in 20 Chicago schools to pay students for good grades. Straight-A students could earn up to $4,000 per year through the program, funded by private donations.

    Does he makes your list?

  19. You Just Made My List!on 21 Dec 2008 at 10:17 pm

    Jeff, yeah there are things about Obama that make my list but I am not so naive to think one leader will share my exact views on everything. I’m going with the overall picture and so far I’m feeling VERY good about Obama.

  20. Paul in St. Paulon 22 Dec 2008 at 7:36 pm

    No offense taken from anyone. I already know most people wouldn’t want my job. Really, one of the most rewarding parts is seeing kids from poverty – ninety percent of the school, from all five ethnic categories from No Child Left Behind – achieve success in school. There is a lot of work to get the job done, and families are really important, even if it means just supporting the kids by shutting off the TV/video games and giving them a quiet spot to read. If anyone is really interested, the New York Times just ran a long report on changing generational attitudes toward poverty in Mexico, and how the model is being tinkered with in NYC schools:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/21/magazine/21cash-t.htmlpagewanted=1&_r=1&sq=mexico%20poverty&st=cse&scp=1
    It has a 4K payoff, but isn’t the same as the program Jeff mentions from Arne Duncan. The article is rather long, but has some good points, both for and against. It boils down to this: how do you break the cycle of poverty and the attitudes that contribute to it, and if you pay parents/kids for meeting school expectations, are you setting up a system in which people will expect cash for what are really family and personal obligations? I don’t know the final answer, but I do agree with YJMML: Americans need to pull it together and recognize what Thomas Friedman recounted in his book, The World is Flat: We used to tell our kids to finish their dinner because kids in China and India were starving for their food; now he tells his daughters that they had better study hard because kids in China and India are starving for their jobs. Intellectual capital has never been so important, and we’ve got to build it, not squander it. How do we transmit this to the general public, especially the poorest sectors, who don’t see education as a way out?

  21. johnon 05 Jan 2009 at 8:21 am

    u guys are fuckin retarted u shoudl get paid for good graeds so all of u go fuck offff

  22. johnon 05 Jan 2009 at 8:21 am

    u guys are fuckin retarted u shoudl get paid for good graeds so all of u go fuck offff

  23. You Just Made My List!on 05 Jan 2009 at 9:36 am

    John, I heard you the first time, geez! I guess you make a good argument. Are you the product of getting paid for good grades? If so, IT IS WORKING! You write so eloquently. I must admit, you made me feel a little “retarted” for thinking getting paid for grades was a bad idea. I have learned my lesson.

  24. xon 22 Jun 2011 at 7:46 pm

    KIDS SHOULD GET PAID IN SCHOOL EVEN FOR THEIR BAD GRADES SO WHAT JUST GIVE THEM MONEY AND LET THEM DO WHATEVER THEY WANT WITH IT THATS WHAT THEY SHOULD DO WHO CARES IF THEIR GRADES ARE BAD JUST LET THEM HAVE MONEY IF THATS whAT ITS GONNA TAKE besides kids sHOUL NOT HAVE TO DO ANY WORK THEY SHOULD BE DROPING OUT OF SCHOOL AND THE TEACHERS SHOULD LET THEM DO WHAT EVER THEY WANT. THATS THE WAY!

  25. Dariuson 22 Jun 2011 at 7:50 pm

    ARE YOU OUT OF YOURE MIND!!You are full of crap x you know for you to be saying that you must be a kid!

  26. Xon 22 Jun 2011 at 7:52 pm

    WELL IM NOT IM JUST SAYING THE TEACHERS SHOULD LET THEM DO WHATEVER THEY WANT AND LET THEM DROP OUT.AND BY THE WAY IM PAST KID LIFE SO UP YOURS YOU STUPID ASS!