Green for Grades: Bribery or Reward?

bribe [brahyb] n:  1. money or any other valuable consideration given or promised with intent to corrupt the behavior of a person, esp., in that person’s performance as an athlete, public official, etc. 2. anything given or serving to persuade or induce.

responsibility [ri-spon-suhbil-i-tee] n: 1. the state or fact of being responsible. 2. on one’s own initiative or authority.

Maybe I’m just old school or being a Virgo and paying too much attention to facts, reality and detail but in my eyes, these simple definitions heavily contradict a policy adopted by Chicago’s public schools recently. This policy is cleverly titled “Green for Grades” and pays students $50 for each A, $35 for each B and $20 for each C particularly to students from families that live “below the poverty line”. I must play devil’s advocate for a moment because I (as a mother of two Honor Roll kids who know Mama don’t play that) disagree with this for quite a few reasons, I’ll make it short but please feel free to comment me for more details.

1.) Discrimination. Although I can appreciate the fact that it focuses on students from underprivileged homes, there are failing students with middle or upper class families as well. A grade is a grade so why should there be a difference? Probably because this is America.

2.) Consider the students who come from homes with parents and guardians who are unemployed or drug/alcohol abusers. What if this gears those parents to pressure the children, possibly abuse and take advantage of them in desperate attempts to get their hands on the funds; therefore creating an even more hostile living environment at home? Think about it.

3.) Bribery is a crime. Getting an education is a responsibility. Let’s not conflict the two any more than they already are. Children should be trained to make the grade because it feels good and this desperately needs to be instilled into our children if not at home then YES at school. Why not put these private donations and funds towards something more positive and LEGAL such as more mentoring programs, extended tutoring for the children with after school buses to get them home or maybe even scouting for TRUE educators who teach for the PASSION of it and not the PAYCHECK alone.

4.) These funds can be better used to FIRE (not suspend) these teachers who have resorted to addressing our children through racial slurs & insults, having sexual relationships with the students or tying them up to teach about slavery and replace them with distinguished, esteemed educators.  Or maybe savings bonds for college tuition, a car at graduation or housing & job placement for the student after graduation.

5.) This plan is laid out to pay them for the first two years and the rest is disbursed after graduation. In other words throw them a bone now and see what happens after you take it back, right? WRONG! You see, where I’m from MOST KIDS DROP OUT IN THE LAST TWO YEARS OF HIGH SCHOOL! Junior and Senior years are time when they need the extra dedication, care and attention.

6.) Money is the root of all evil. This will cause children to go to extreme measures for the money including cheating & even stealing. How is that going to be monitored & what precautionary measures does the school board plan to take? Students are being shot and killed for tennis shoes these days so what do you think will happen when children who are unable to get “Green for Grades” (ie: those with learning disabilities that may or may not have been diagnosed) become envious and desperate. What if the smart kids in school are targeted as a result? Please look closer at crime rates in our neighborhoods and schools.

I’ll be back with more late, please feel free to comment.

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About Queen Unique

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3 Responses to Green for Grades: Bribery or Reward?

  1. mammabear says:

    This is a great post & I’d have to say that I agree. Getting an education is a responsibility.
    (although I have to admit, I do pay my son $5.00 a week allowance that can be docked for various reasons, such as fighting at homework time, not helping with chores…that kind of thing. So I guess I’m kind of guilty too?!?)

  2. Monica says:

    Tough call. Going to school, as I tell my kids, is their job so I can see why paying them would make sense. Plus, they have to study in order to get the big money so they don’t lose when it comes to their education. Yet by doing this, how do we teach the idea of success being it’s own reward? When everything have a monetary value, how do they learn what to truly value? Money is not the root of all evil, love of money is. So does this further that “love” and make things difficult in the future? I just don’t know. I know I give my oldest child (a 3rd grader) an allowance and behavior, including that at school, depicts if I deduct or not. My husband rewards him with DS games or other things he wants when he does well. Our kindergartener daughter doesn’t make that connection right now, but when she does well, we are simply more open to doing something that they want. I suppose one way or the other, kids are paid.

  3. Pingback: Blog Wars: Queen Unique vs Trina (re-post from FB) « The Queen's Pen

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