A good idea that's also a sign of the apocalypse
Administrators and teachers are trying to find a way to incentivize attendance and participation at a Des Moines alternative high school by giving students cash rewards applicable to higher education. On the micro scale, that certainly seems like a good idea: It's a basic rule of human behavior that we respond to incentives, and if that incentive is applicable to self-improvement, then it's probably a very practical idea. But on the macro scale, it's a terrible sign. If we've reached a point where large enough numbers of students no longer receive the socialization that allows them to realize the intrinsic connection between education and self-betterment, then we have a real problem on our hands.
Notes from the Brian Gongol Show on WHO Radio - August 17, 2008
Russia's crony capitalism with weapons...incentives for school performance...nearly-universal broadband access...and a podcast