Remember the days when you went to school because you had to? This is apparently no longer the case for kids today: a school district in New Jersey is offering students prizes, like iPads, just to convince them to show up. Officials in Middle Township launched the incentive program last month after the state cut $1.3 million in funding due to high absenteeism rates.
Toni Johnson, a vice principal for a middle school in the Southern New Jersey district, said she researched the Internet to see what other schools were doing to reverse declining attendance rates, and found that expensive prizes work. Could kids these days be anymore terrible and materialistic?
“Who doesn’t like that carrot hung over them knowing there’s a reward for a job well done? Of course, the idea is to make it more intrinsic long-term. But, so far, it seems to have students rallying with one another in terms of getting them to come,” she told radio station New Jersey 101.5.
To be eligible for the prizes, kids who go to school have their name entered into a raffle which is drawn on Fridays. Other prizes include gift cards to stores on the boardwalk, cookie trays, penny boards, or an iPad. Because winning a cookie tray and a $400 Apple device is the same thing.
Regardless, the scheme is working as absentee numbers are on the decline. Think we could convince the Betabeat bosses to give us iPads just for showing up?