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Five Things DISD Should Do Rather Than Pay Kids for Showing Up

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There is no amount of money that could make me want to go back to high school. In some ways it was like being in a pimply, angst-ridden foxhole: endless hours of insufferable, hormone-riddled boredom punctuated by brief spells of piss-your-pants terror.

But DISD has just upped the ante with a scheme that has sent us starving artist and broke journalist types plotting a Never Been Kissed "research" type scenario. The Advocate reports that students who -- get this -- merely show up for the first day of school this year will have their names placed in a drawing for a chance at a $500 debit card.

Are you kidding me? We've already successfully built a society that rewards "just showing up," reality TV being its most prominent cultural contribution. Remember when getting through school and doing reasonably well was the only proven route out of your parents' basement? Then again, if your parents have high speed wireless and health insurance ...

Here's an idea: rather than just tossing cash at the problem, why doesn't DISD put those funds toward creating public high schools that feel more like hallowed institutions of learning, rather than the deranged setting of a Chuck Palahniuk novel?

Just off the top of our heads, some better things they could do with that money:

1. More arts supplies. Or funding for integrated arts programs like MasterPEACE. Partnerships with local museums, galleries and arts collectives to infuse a sense of Dallas' cultural identity and creative movement.

2. Updated technology for quicker, more proficient research. Or fun shit, like for teaching graphic design.

3. Travel to cultural sites and museums that will expose students to problems other than making it to school on time.

4. Paying teachers a salary that makes dragging themselves out of bed worthwhile. Additionally, hiring better teachers.

5. Burn it.

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Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.