Blatantly stolen from Second City Cop:
Is the lure of a $25 gift card enough to persuade a parent who’s not involved in their child’s education to get involved?
Seventy Chicago Public Schools that have struggled to engage parents are about to find out.
At Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s request, Walgreen Co. has agreed to provide $25 gift cards to parents who pick up their students’ report cards and participate in parent-teacher conferences during report card pickup days.
“This is a way, in my view, of incentivizing responsible parenting,” Emanuel told a news conference at Field Elementary School, 7019 N. Ashland.
Is he serious? “incentivizing responsible parenting?” In what parallel universe is this unmitigated ass living in? If you “incentivize” (which isn’t even a real word) bad behavior, what do you get? More bad behavior.
Every study in existence proves this. Example A is the entire welfare system – you pay someone not to work, you get a shitload of people not working. You give someone a check for pushing out babies, pretty soon the birthrate skyrockets and you have 15, 14 even 13-year-olds having babies. You know what reduced the teen birthrate back in the 1990’s? Stopping the checks.
Emanuel said he got the gift card idea during one of his morning workouts.
“That’s what happens when I start swimming. I start coming up with ideas,” the mayor said.
The mayor then approached Walgreen CEO Greg Wasson, who jumped at the opportunity to “give back” to the city where the company has operated for 112 years and now has 150 stores.
This explains part of where he keeps getting these fucked up ideas – chlorine poisoning.
via Second City Cop.
So that’s kinda entertaining. But I fail to see how giving away gift cards to parents who come pick-up report cards and sit for parent-teacher conferences is exactly creating an incentive for bad behavior. Seems like good behavior to me.
The bigger problem with this is like Chris Rock (and Barack Obama) have pointed out that we keep setting the bar so low.
Another comparison, though, is illustrated by an old Chris Rock joke: “People say Colin Powell speaks so well. What’d they expect him to say? ‘Ahmma drop me a bomb’?” There’s something incredibly condescending to think of saying that a man who has risen to the ranks of 4-star general or United States Senator is “articulate,” but it’s always meant as a compliment. In reality, though, it’s a backhanded one.
Obama is more than “articulate,” of course; he’s a truly gifted orator. And he was editor of the Harvard Law Review and otherwise has some mighty impressive credentials. It does seem, though, that the bar is set much lower for Obama than most men who would be president.
via Outside the Beltway.
Isn’t there a soft bigotry in saying that these parents need this incentive to do things that other parents do [without the incentive]?
I actually believe — from what I’m seen with my own eyes living on the West Side for 9 years — that the vast majority of parents want to help their kids get a good education. They want to be a positive influence in their children’s lives. They just simply do not know how because they were never taught by their parents.
What we need to do is help train parents to be better parents. Not throw $25 in gift cards at them and expect them to suddenly become Ma and Pa Cleaver.