Have you heard about this story? Students at Manchester School of Technology can win a free car if they make the grade. Literally. If the student’s grades are high enough, they are entered into a raffle to win a free Ford Fiesta.
Students who make the honor roll at the end of each quarter will be entered once into the drawing. Students on the high honor roll will be entered twice and those on the Principal’s List are entered three times.
Horrible. This is truly a horrible idea. Sure, part of my outrage is because when I was a kid…I got good grades because that’s what a kid is supposed to do. No extra rewards. I just did it because I was supposed to. Achieving in your education means that life is your reward, long term. Nothing short term should be expected.
But mostly, what bothers me is this: have we raised a generation of kids who expect to be rewarded simply for doing what they’re supposed to do? Does this mean that kids are going to try and cheat more to get higher grades? What about the learning disabled children? I guess they’re not counted in this game.
And let’s think long-term: what happens when these kids get into the workforce? There’s no free car for working late. No prizes will be awarded if you work weekends. Your reward is that you still get your paycheck.
And that’s going to be a harsh lesson for them to learn.