And I thought a standing ovation was a little over the top!June 26, 2008
Earlier this month, I blogged about a rather disappointing experience at Sophia’s kindergarten awards ceremony. You can read the whole thing here, or if you’re more of a bottom line person, here’s the summary:
All of the children received an award from their teacher celebrating their individual talents and achievements. Afterwards, the principal handed out attendance awards. When he got to the child who had missed no time from school at all this year, he told us to give the child a standing ovation. I felt like a hypocrite, displaying more appreciation for an award that I view as pretty insignificant than I did for my own daughter’s “Excellence in Reading” award.
Dan felt the same way, and he blogged about it here. Poor Dan, he blogs once in two years and gets flamed. Read the comments… we are told by someone named Leah that we think we’re better than everyone else, that we have belittled the other students’ achievements, that we put too much pressure on our daughter, that we feel sorry for ourselves, that we are jealous, that we are selfish and egocentric, that we have poor self-esteem, etc. Pretty nasty coming from a total stranger.
But then I found out that being commanded to give a standing ovation was relatively minor in the whole “attendance is the be-all and end-all of school performance because it’s tied to funding” trend. Check out this article from the New York Times, which states that schools are now offering very tangible rewards for students with perfect attendance. Rewards such as cash, iPods, free rent for a month, free groceries, even cars.
Yes, you can potentially receive a free car if you’re willing to send your child to school every day, even when they are sick and should stay home. And guess what? The good news is that Junior doesn’t have to actually learn anything! He can fail all of his courses and be a constant behavior problem, but as long as he shows up each and every day, you will receive a windfall of incentive prizes.
Am I alone in thinking that this is totally crazy?