The DOE is giving a cellphone "incentive"

What gives! The DOE which has been fighting parent's reasonable need to contact their middle school age kids on cell phones is now giving away phones, minutes and texting time as a bribe for increased test scores! The Million Program, announced last week will also have product "discounts" offered in text messages according to a report in nycpublicschoolparents. Yeah, yeah, you have to fund the program somehow, but why this program in the first place. The idea is that in some schools, students need an incentive to improve their performance. Ok, I am naive and too idealistic (my children roll their eyes at me everyday) but knowledge is the reward, not a cheap piece of plastic that will suck their attention away from the true prize. And do you think that those 11 year olds are not informed or cynical enough to see this as the disingenuous bribe that it is. What are we telling them? Stand behind your policy until someone offers you a million dollars to ignore it. Shameful.
The phones are being offered to 4 schools in Brooklyn, JHS 234, Ebbets Field Middle School, IS 349 and KIPP AMP Charter School.
On a basic level in general, doesn't paying for grades act as a disincentive to self motivation and altruism? Just asking.