Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Feel-Good Liberal Foolishness

Heh. I was going to share this anyway, because I find it so patently absurd. Then this morning, I saw a little something at RiehlWorldView that reminded me about it. Dan is busy laughing about a Washington lawmaker who wants to change things for at-risk kids by changing what we call them:
Decades ago, poor children became known as "disadvantaged" to soften the stigma of poverty. Then they were "at-risk." Now, a Washington lawmaker wants to replace those euphemisms with a new one, "at hope."

Now here's the latest bit of feel-good liberal foolishness from my kids' school district:

Dear Families,
We are excited to share with you our guide lines and incentives for our new school wide behavior program. The program is called "____ 200 Club". Students will be recognized for following school rules. Any staff member can "catch" a student demonstrating appropriate behavior. Students who are caught will get to add their names to a ____ Celebrity book, receive a pencil, a phone call home, and a special ticket for positive behavior.
To further the incentive for students to display positive behaviors, their special ticket will be placed on a large two hundred square grid. The students will be watching and waiting to see if the ticket or tickets with their name on it is part of a row, column or diagonal group of ten. When ten tickets accumulate, those students will win a "mystery" prize. The board will be cleared and the process starts all over again.
We have a wonderful group of students and we want to continue to reinforce and reward the positive choices they make!
Sincerely,The Staff of ___

Got that? They're going to "catch" kids doing what they're supposed to be doing in the first place, and then reward them for it. And the kids who get "caught" will be added to a "Celebrity Book", and maybe win a prize...

Now, putting aside for a minute the sheer idiocy of rewarding someone for doing what they are supposed to be doing rather than punishing those who chose not to, am I the only one who sees the potential for abuse and favoritism here? You can have two hundred kids, all doing exactly what is expected of them, but only the ones who get "caught" by staff will be recognized and rewarded. What message does this nonsense send to the kids who do right and follow the rules every day but do not get "caught"? "Well, Mrs. C. caught Suzy listening to the teacher, but since nobody caught you, you get diddly!"

Rather than piss away yet more of the school day on something else that has nothing to do with education (and believe me, the list is already long), why not try a really different approach... As in punish the kids who are screwing around instead! But alas... in my school district at least, they apparently believe that just meeting your basic responsibilities deserves a big ol' pat on the back.

And for the icing on the cake? My daughter was already "caught" doing what she was supposed to be doing. She got a precious little award paper to bring home, and her name in the "Celebrity Book". Is she impressed? Not especially. The school spelled her name wrong.

Yeah. Way to recognize a kid - with the wrong name. Pffft. Guess they should spend all that wasted time figuring out their students' names instead!

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