Pays Me Now Or Pays Me Later

In one of the most ridiculous stories I have ever heard, school officials are rewarding perfect attendance with cash.
When students return to Chelsea High School next month, they'll get more than an impeccable attendance record if they make it to class each day: They'll get cash.

Under a new plan, a student who misses not a single day per quarter will receive $25 in an account - redeemable upon graduation. In doing so, the school joins a number of districts throughout the country turning to incentives to boost test scores, GPAs, and student turnout.

But critics call it bribery and say a capitalist mind-set is invading an institution built around the notion that knowledge itself is the quest. What's more, not all kids can control their attendance, or their achievement, and rewarding only a select few could further undermine the efforts of the rest, they say.

This is an interesting dilemna. While in principle I oppose rewarding perfect attendance with cash is it really that different than rewarding a school athlete who performs well? Is the problem the act of rewarding or is it the actual reward itself? Should we even be rewarding attendance regardless of the nature of the prize?

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