NBC Philadelphia recently reported the following:
The city of Camden will be paying almost 70 high school students $100 each to go to school in the first three weeks of the year...Really?
...To receive the promised $100, each of the 66 targeted students must attend classes as well as conflict-resolution and anger-management workshops until Sept. 30...
Societies, both present and past, and of all sorts, have continually established the need for basic education in the creation of productive and self-sustaining citizens. Education that not only teaches one how to read, write, and do some simple math, but education that instills a capacity for critical thinking and a constant passion for learning. The day our society – the one espoused by many to be the greatest ever – turned the process of educating our youth into just a conveyor belt that produces mindless cogs to work in our (now deserted) factories was the day that we allowed the "life of the mind" to be plagued by the "rat race" for the dollar.
The mere fact that we are discussing paying children to better themselves and their community is absurd and almost demoralizing. This isn't even a program that "pays for performance," if you will. Nobody get's paid for merely showing up – reward should only come after work. And the only reward that one should seek from a proper education is a decent living, a sense of accomplishment, and an ambition to do good in the world.
We cannot correct the mistakes of past generations in creating a crumbling public school system by throwing money at younger generations. Money doesn't buy knowledge.
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