I admit, motivating students to do well in school by giving them prizes and rewards works well. Even cheesy prizes like “fun” pencils are effective. On occasion, I’ve even given some kids cash money for As on tests and quizzes. Don’t get too excited: it’s usually just a $5-bill. While I have always encouraged knowledge for knowledge’s sake, many young kids and teenagers fail to share my lofty ideas on education and pedagogy. Cheap prizes it is then.
But none of my meager 99-cent store trinkets can compare with an honest-to-god military tank. Our governor has kindly asked the Motts Military Museum in Ohio to return his tank, on display since 2000. Gov. Schwarzenegger plans to reward kids who have good grades, who stay out of gangs and off of drugs with a ride on the American-made tank he received as a gift from the Austrian government.
This comedic announcement has unfortunately overshadowed the more realistic efforts Gov. Schwarzenegger has implemented to combat gang activity in youth. Schwarzenegger recently pledged $16.5 million in grants to various organizations across the state involved with gang prevention and job training. Nearly a third of that money is going to Los Angeles County alone, with a little less than $1m earmarked for the City of Los Angeles.