Here’s something you don’t hear every day: In an effort to boost involvement, several Chicago schools are bribing parents with gift cards to complete simple tasks such as picking up their child’s report cards and attending parent-teacher conferences.
You know, the things parents should be doing for free.
According to the Huffington Post, the pilot program being launched at 70 schools will offer $25 Walgreens “Balance Rewards” cards as an incentive to get parents involved in their child’s academic lives. All of the schools selected to participate have reported difficulty in engaging parents.
The program, thought up by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, piggybacks off Walgreens’ new loyalty card and aims to close the communication gap between the schools and parents.
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“This is about our educators and CPS leadership working to be innovative and creative in order to increase parent involvement in their child’s education, period,” said a statement from the mayor’s office.
While the program has been met with criticism, the new rewards system will likely boost parent involvement in some small way. City schools plan to track and analyze the data to determine the program’s effectiveness.