College & Workforce Readiness

We Read So You Don’t Have To

By Catherine Gewertz — June 15, 2009 1 min read
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A few tidbits worth checking out from the media and blogosphere. You have probably heard about various Hail Mary experiments around the country (see here and here) to test what a bit of cash can do to get better results in school. But here is one I haven’t heard before: in one California district, they’re giving a kid a free car for having perfect attendance.

Someone please come save me if I am just getting too old and cranky to think this is a good idea. I’m skipping right over the part about whether cash or property are good tactics to use in getting young people to do the right thing, whether that’s getting good grades or taking out the trash. I’m thinking more about the nitty gritty here. Who’s going to pay this kid’s insurance? How’s he going to get the money to put gas in this baby? What are we telling a teenager about being able to support your obligations before taking them on?

You all can debate about this, and please loop me in... post comments here and tell me—and one another—what you think.

Okay. Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, I can point you to a couple of other goodies out there you might want to read. EdSector’s Elena Silva has an interesting piece on the Quick and the Ed blog about a new NCES report that finds more kids enrolling in GED classes. Ms. Silva raises the interesting question of whether this is happening because young people are choosing education over unemployment, because it’s an easier alternative to high school, or because they think the GED is about to get tougher.

Here’s a vote for rigor: the board of California’s Oakland Unified School District voted last week to require that all students complete the University of California’s “A-G” course sequence in order to graduate from high school. The district also plans to devote increased resources to bolster supports such as curriculum counseling. Assuming courses in the challenging sequence are truly rigorous enough to deserve their titles, many Oakland students will certainly need additional support to complete them successfully. This bears watching.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the High School Connections blog.