Wednesday, March 5, 2008

How America is crushing my idealism.

Good Grades=Hot Money

The Times profiles an educational initiative that is growing in popularity, especially in NYC. Over 200 schools in the are are participating in a program that pays for performance. Bonuses for teachers and principals, and cash for students based on high scores on standardized tests. The idea has got traction, in no small part because of Mayor Bloomberg (or as TMT affectionately calls him, the Bloomz) and his support. So far, the city has given away $500,000 to students and schools.

Our favorite part of the article is when several elementary school kids told of what they would get with their cash-money. TMT doesn't know who we love more, one girl who said she would use her $100 to buy "a car, a house and college" or another who said "Spaghetti."

Actually the Spaghetti girl is totally depressing. When asked what she'd do with the money, she answered "food." Spaghetts was her elaboration. Which brings up a good point: Isn't this "solution" just masking the real problems?

Shouldn't we first be concerned that in this community, this girl considers food is a prize and pasta a dream? What's more, TMT is against the ramped use of standardized tests. Not too long ago, everywhere one looked, inner-city teachers were talking about the biased nature of standardized tests. Now they are OK because these same teachers get a bigger pay-day?

Adonis Flores, a 13-year-old: “This motivates us better. Everybody wants some money.”

Do they ever. Single tear.


  1. they are doing this in baltimore too.

  2. They are indeed doing it in Baltimore, as shown on the Wire. Poor Duquan. He wasn't ready for 9th grade!