City Officials Hope To Make School Cool

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In New York City’s ongoing plan to [bribe students] to do well, Mayor Bloomberg and his administration have just upped the ante (and the technology). According to a [new proposal](, the city will send encouraging text messages to minority and low-income students, and will offer them cell phones, sporting tickets, concert tickets, free minutes and ring tones to do well in the classroom.

Of course, this might end up backfiring. Sure the students might get good grades initially, but then they’ll get Knicks tickets as their prize, and they’ll go to the games and see how much money you can make without a college degree. Then they’ll go home, listen to their new [Soulja Boy] ring tones—maybe even his song “[Report Card](”—and he’ll sing, “You know when you jut get your report card and you have all Fs on it, you just want to take it back to the teacher and say through some Ds on there bitch!” Yep, then all will be right in the world.

Still, Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein thinks something’s got to change. “How do you get people to think about achievement in communities where, for historical or other reasons, there isn’t necessarily demand for that?” he said. “We want to create an environment where kids know education is something you should want. Some people come to school with an enormous appetite for learning and others do not — that’s the reality.” The problem is, kids don’t necessarily have an appetite for learning under this plan, they have an appetite for the perks that come with learning. When those run out, will they still want to succeed?

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