Sat Jan 26, 2013, 02:57 PM
hue (4,949 posts)
Stacey Campfield, Tennessee GOP Lawmaker, Wants To Tie Welfare Benefits To Children's Grades
Tennessee state Rep. Stacey Campfield (R) introduced a bill this week seeking to make welfare benefits contingent upon the grades of a would-be recipient's children.
Campfield's legislation, filed Thursday, would "require the reduction of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) payments for parents or caretakers of TANF recipients whose children fail to maintain satisfactory progress in school." TANF is more commonly referred to as welfare.
Under Campfield's bill, welfare recipients would face a loss of benefits if their children showed poor academic performance. It's unclear how these factors would be tied to one another, or how the children's performance would be assessed.
In a blog addressing his proposal, Campfield calls his bill a measure to "break the cycle of poverty." According to Campfield, education is a "three legged stool" comprised of schools, teachers and parents. He claims the state has adequately held the first two legs of the school accountable, but argues that it should apply more pressure on the third.
8 replies, 2025 views
Stacey Campfield, Tennessee GOP Lawmaker, Wants To Tie Welfare Benefits To Children's Grades (Original post)
|Angry Dragon||Jan 2013||#5|
Response to Nay (Reply #2)
Sat Jan 26, 2013, 04:26 PM
Igel (24,885 posts)
6. It's still a problem.
This isn't a good solution.
In fact, I haven't heard of a good solution.
What I have heard is a lot of complaining about the ed system and teachers. The whole "it takes a village" idea.
We hear that "teachers have the largest influence on a student's success." We don't hear the rest: "Of the factors that a school has control over, teachers have the largest influence on a student's success." Part of it is NEA propaganda--if we're that danged important, pay us and respect us. It backfired: If we're that danged important, how did we screw up? Fact is, schools have control over less than 50% of what effects a student's success. Of that less than 50%, teachers are over 50%. We're about 25% of it.
What's missing is ways of coercing parents to be tolerably good. With good parents, it still takes a lot of other people, but most can screw up to some extent and most kids come out okay. With bad parents, it takes a lot of other people, most have to get it right, and most kids still come out screwed up.
You can't fix the really important societal problems from the top down. You can't fix problems that nobody wants to talk about. You can't fix problems that are defended and justified.
How many people does it take to make a good parent?
"How many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb?"
"One, but it has to want to change."
Response to hue (Original post)
Sat Jan 26, 2013, 03:01 PM
bluestateguy (44,060 posts)
3. Might as well call it the Grade Inflation Act
Teachers in poor districts, knowing that their students may go without food if their grades slip, would give away unearned A's and B's. Or give ridiculously easy assignments.
This would be a scandal waiting to happen, and of course I'm sure the conservatives would immediately blame the teachers.
Response to bluestateguy (Reply #3)
Sat Jan 26, 2013, 06:01 PM
Nay (8,958 posts)
8. Very true, and it's not as if we already have gobs of grade inflation already, for one reason
or another. There are kids aging out of high school who can barely read. It's a shame.
Response to hue (Original post)
Sat Jan 26, 2013, 03:30 PM
dballance (5,756 posts)
4. My Home State of TN Still Continues to Embarrass Me.
Here's what I posted on my FB page:
While I am all for encouraging parents to be involved with their children's education this is not the way to do it.
Making a poor family struggle more and perhaps causing parents to have to take perhaps yet another minimum wage job in addition to the one or more they might already have is asinine. It could cause the parents to be less available to their kids. Not to mention making them poorer and making it harder for the struggling child to get good nutrition so they are better able to learn is asinine.
Also, the tremendous mental stress and strain this would put on the struggling child is just cruel. If the legislator's goal is to make the children hate school because it causes their family to lose money in their TANF then this is a good way to do that. We certainly don't need to think of ways to make poor and minority kids hate school so that they are more likely to drop out. We all know how well that works out.
School is difficult enough for poor and minority kids already. Why this legislator thinks he knows more about how to motivate kids to learn than all the teachers and educators is just a typical function of the angry old white men in the TN State Legislature.
If you want to encourage families to be involved in their kid's education and motivate the kids and make them feel good about learning Mr. Legislator I have a suggestion. How about let's put away the punitive measures that make people feel bad about themselves. Why don't you propose legislation to give the kids whose families are on TANF some kind of bonus at the end of each semester when the children do well. It does' t have to be a cash bonus and it doesn't have to be huge. Gift cards to grocery stores or department stores would be great for their families. Then the child can feel a sense of reward for doing well. A sense of accomplishment rather than a sense of failure.
Why not try the carrot rather than the stick?