Posted on August 30, 2011

Schools Offering Rewards to Keep Students in Class

Ben Wolfgang, Washington Times, August 28, 2011


To combat truancy, many school districts are offering iPods, laptops and even cars in exchange for perfect attendance.

The Camden, N.J., school system will pay some students $100 if they sign a pledge promising not to skip school and attend workshops on conflict resolution and other topics. The program is funded through a state grant, and the money must be spent by Sept. 30.

California’s Santa Ana Unified School District partners with a local auto dealership and holds a car raffle at the end of every academic term. Students who made it to every class for the 180-day school year are eligible to win.


Other raffle prizes in Santa Ana include iPods, movie tickets and other items, Ms. Burrell said. Similar programs have been implemented in districts in Wyoming, Arizona, Michigan and elsewhere.

Education specialists see value in such efforts. Skipping school is often the precursor to dropping out, and schools are wise to try and reach students before they give up on the system entirely, said James Appleton, executive director of the National Dropout Prevention Center, a Clemson University initiative.


Thirteen percent of D.C. high school students, for example, missed at least 15 days of school without a valid excuse during the first half of the 2010-2011 school year, according to a recent report from D.C. Council’s Special Committee on School Safety and Truancy.


While they agree truancy is a serious problem that must be addressed, some officials are skeptical of giving students cash, cars or iPods as incentives to come to class.

Camden, N.J., School Board member Sean Brown told the Philadelphia Inquirer that he opposes the grant program. Former board member Jose Delgado told the paper that the move is “outrageous” and sends the wrong message to students. Many critics believe that daily attendance should be an expectation, and districts should not have to resort to what some consider bribery to get children to class


32 responses to “Schools Offering Rewards to Keep Students in Class”

  1. Tom Iron says:

    It doesn’t matter what is or isn’t done. These schools are obsolete. We’re already moving beyond brick and mortar school buildings where students and teachers trek each day. The school authorities know this, but are trying desparately to keep the system going. It’s on life support now and not too long, riga mortis will set in.

    Tom Iron…

  2. sbuffalonative says:

    Experiments in social science have definitely shown that you cannot bribe people to better themselves. Motivation comes from within.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Guess what the good students (you know, the ones who study and actually care) win?

    Stolen resources, truncated opportunities, open ridicule, and potential violence at the hands of those who view school as a crack den or brothel in training.

  4. Tim Mc Hugh says:

    This kind of attitude will breed bartenders who want a dollar BEFORE they make your drink. Not a good idea. If doing the right thing becomes a shakedown, doesn`t that make it the wrong thing?!?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Being paid/bribed to go to school? That’s funny, I did not need any incentive to go to school other than to receive a good education. I wonder why that is?

  6. Question Diversity says:

    Education specialists see value in such efforts.

    I see value in such efforts, too. But I have a more practical definition of “value” in mind. Many school districts get state funding based on their attendance rates. Therefore, they’re bribing students to come to school as often as possible to get as much state funding as possible.

  7. Sureesh says:

    I literally vomited when I read the story. Moving back to India is looking more and more appealing.

  8. shadranok says:

    Why not pay them to show up at the chow hall for free food also?

  9. NBJ says:

    A sad day in America when they have to bribe and beg some kids these days to get an education. A better incentive would be a requirement to produce a High School diploma before you are eligible for any kind of social benefits in the future. Why should they care about an education when they know they can live off the government and there is no price to pay for their ignorance and lack of education?

    Not only that, whatever happened to vocational centers in High Schools? We had them when I was in school where you could learn auto body repair, carpentry, auto mechanics and plumbing just to name a few. I looked at my daughters program of studies for her High School, and they have none of those things anymore. For those who are not cut out for higher education, at least teach them a trade and try to make them productive citizens.

  10. neanderthalDNA says:

    It’s actually a noble if misguided sentiment. Even in the most hellish Africanized schools, there are always some poor kids who manage to make it to class, for whatever reason, every single day of the year, and I may be wrong, but in my experience they did so not for a nintendo, but because they came from good families, were in good health, and were intrinsically motivated.

    Those who don’t want to be there…should, for the sake of those with some hope…stay home.

    One thing I learned from watching Animal Planet and teaching high school…

    Not all the young reach adulthood. Sad, but true.

  11. (AWG) Average White Guy says:

    When I was a kid they offered me a swat on the rear if I didn’t attend school.

  12. Abdul says:

    Hey…what’s wrong with that? Gotta give them their “bling bling” so they have a sense of worth,,,dontcha know.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Getting a bit desperate here? What happened to the concept of learning for learning sake? Oh that’s right that is part of the white culture. LBJ raided the Social Security funds for his “Great Society” nonsense. $17 trillions later (spending never stopped, only increased), the blacks have actually regressed. Now, they attacking and robbing whites using flash mobs. The time to employed the concept, “if you don’t work, you don’t eat” is long overdue. Anyone who objects to this, they can use their own money to continue the generational black handouts.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Wikipedia, “Demographics of Washington, D.C.

    African American, 55.6%

    White, 36.3%

    Hispanic, 8.3%

    Asian, 3.1%

    I’ll buy lunch to any social scientist who demonstrates that the 13% of D.C. high school students who missed at least 15 days of school without a valid excuse during the first half of the 2010-2011 school year were evenly distributed among these demographics. And I’ll buy a steak dinner to the first three social scientists who demonstrate that the truant 13% came primarily from the Asian demographic.

  15. madison grant says:

    This will lead to ghetto thugs threatening teachers with assault unless they agree to mark them “present” every day.

  16. Jeddermann. says:

    “Thirteen percent of D.C. high school students, for example, missed at least 15 days of school without a valid excuse”

    Among the Bantu it is TRADITIONAL TO SKIP THE FIRST WEEK OF SCHOO’! Traditional! What does that say? And need anyone say any more? NO!!

  17. Morgan says:

    The kind of “teens” or “youths” you have to pay to go to school, I don’t want there. A hundred bucks? Just to come to class and play dice or cards or text on their cell phones? Let them skip out on school, it’ll just make the learning environment better for everyone else.

    The other part of this that gets me, and correct me if i misread it, is that they get the money and then sign a pledge? Really? How many of those “youths” that get the money actually come back? None I hope. Maybe someone will notice how stupid this program is.

  18. Tom in Illinois says:

    Well appearantly i’m paying for this…better start saving up!

  19. Anonymous says:

    I’m sure I will not be the first to say this, but . . . the schools are better off bribing them to stay away than to attend class. Most of these kids aren’t well behaved and disciplined enough to gain entry to a chimp house, much less a real academic environment. Oh, did I say, “real”? Never mind. Pack ’em in. Save the chimps.

  20. Cousin Charlie from TN says:

    As a “middle-aged” guy it’s hard for me to remember my school days so well. One thing I do remember is the huge number of days I took off from school in my one hideous year of being bussed to a ghetto hellhole “black” “school”. I might have missed 15 days that year. Also I remember my “perfect attendance” certificate I got just three years earlier, in sixth grade. In a school I walked to every day.

  21. Bandmo says:

    I got a better idea. “Take away their parents cars if their “kids” miss school”.

  22. Anonymous says:

    As the OP said it would be best to keep these children away from school.

    If they don’t want to be there in the first place then bribing them won’t do any good because while they may show up for the bribes they most likely wont pay any attention & may distract others.

    In the end the best option would be to institute a program like India has where they offer cash incentives for getting your tubes tied or getting the snip.

    God knows tons of “less intelligent” people would opt out for the quick cash & never realize the future ramifications.

  23. mark says:

    What’s next??? 4 year degree in Perfect Attendance???

  24. BAW says:

    This reminds me of that old Chris Rock routine about wanting credit for what you’re supposed to do.

  25. Bon, From the Land of Babble says:

    Not only that, whatever happened to vocational centers in High Schools? We had them when I was in school where you could learn auto body repair, carpentry, auto mechanics and plumbing just to name a few.


    As schools became more “of color”, racial activists and the entitlement-for-life hoards who blindly support them screamed that THEIR children were being “thrown away” into VocEd classes while White “privileged” kids were being prepared for elite colleges and universities — children “of color”, they bellowed to the media, were being prepared for lives as gardeners, mechanics and other occupations where the purpose is to “serve the White man.” VocEd was deemed “racist!” and auto shops, engine repair shops, carpentry classes, plastics classes, and plumbing programs were dismantled and replaced by “literacy” and reading programs.

    I am the proud owner of one of the old, heavy metal shop stools, given to me by an angry teacher who was re-assigned from teaching shop to teaching literacy. I keep it as a reminder of what once was, will never happen and hopefully may be again.

    When NCLB mandates began to quickly fail, these “literacy” programs was stepped up even further with the elimination of PE classes, recess, art, music and other so-called “frivolities” — in elementary schools especially where the kids NEED recess and PE — all in the name of increasing literacy.

    I remember getting into a furious argument with my son’s very overweight 2nd grade teacher and her equally overweight aide over the teacher’s decision to eliminate PE and recess in the name of “increasing literacy.” She quoted me the VERY low mandates for PE and outdoor time, very few minutes per week — all of which she “allowed” only on Fridays. One, of many reasons why kids are more overweight than ever.


  26. Anonymous says:

    Remember everyone, at every opportunity please refer to the “achievement gap” as the “intelligence gap” or the “IQ gap”!

  27. Anonymous says:

    The thing is, this points out that it is not the quality of the schools but the quality of the students that count. If students have to be bribed to show up, then no amount of spending or busing or whatever will change the situation. It comes back to IQ and it comes back to culture. But these issues are not going to be addressed by the liberal establishment. So expect to see more dysfunction.

    By the way, did the schools have these kinds of problems prior to Brown vs Board of Education? Objectively, what are the stats on literacy and graduation for blacks pre-1954 with the situation today?

    I literally vomited when I read the story.

    A lot of us understand the feeling!

  28. Rhialto says:

    This system was used many years ago, and it was a great success with the black students. If they finished high school with a business or industrial arts diploma, they were rewarded with good job opportunities. This was in the late 1950’s, so they did not have to compete with immigrants for jobs. Note that if they did not measure up to the job requirments, there was no EEOC or other federals to stop them from being fired. Most of them measured up.

  29. Anonymous says:

    This country desperately needs a tracking system like in France, and I believe Germany in which academically inclined students are encouraged and prepared to pursue higher education, while others go into vocational training. Finally, you think high schools only have this problem of low achievement and a proliferation of people who shouldn’t be there? TRY community colleges. Frankly I’m sick of the lame excuses liberals make for low academic achievement such as poverty and “oppression”. Tell that to my first-generation parents and other relatives who attended high school during the Great Depression!

  30. NBJ says:

    @ Bon

    Your explanation of the vanishing vocational centers does not surprise me in the least. I should have known.

    So I hope those same people are proud of what they have accomplished over the past 25 years or so. They now have generations of gang banging, drug dealing, kill each other over nothing, fatherless thugs because they cannot compete. Nice going.

  31. Anonymous says:

    I guess a Taxpayer funded Public Education just isn’t enough, anymore.

    I have already stated my opinions about Private and Religious Education being a way out of this fouled system, along with Home Schooling.

    We can all see it clearly, but those with vested interests, such as the Teachers’ Unions, overpaid Administrators, and Janitors that barely clean the floors, let alone do any real maintenance, want to keep the gravy train going. Who can blame them with the generous salaries and benefits they receive, that most of us do not get?

    No, we need to pull our kids out of the Public School rackets, and use alternatives such as Freedom Project Education. It offers a Classical Education, which includes the four year study of Latin, to Students at home, through their computers.

    I was impressed with the Faculty’s credentials and Teaching history. Please investigate this alternative for your child, and pass the word about it on to other parents.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Anon #29: Every bright and gifted child should have the chance to expand his mind at the highest levels of education. We still need Doctors, Scientists, Engineers, etc., but we also need our Carpenters, Welders, Plumbers, and Electricians, too.

    All High School children, in the traditional Schools, or by Apprenticing, should have a good Trade to fall back on, or to make their chosen life’s work from.

    Remember, you can’t offshore or export those Trade jobs, like you can Computer Programmers and other related fields. Trade jobs stay here, are good paying jobs, are necessary to a Community, and give pride to those who have it, in a job well done.

    Most Colleges today, as we know, as Marxist Indoctrination Factories, and nothing more, so why on earth would we send our children to them?