Cash for school? (5×8 – 2/21/12)

Should kids be paid to go to school, staying together for the kids — and the state, racism and the hockey fan, does the Internet end on March 8th, and kids and ice fishing.


Could we solve the truancy problem if we just “paid” kids to go to school?

In the high school I attended in my youth, a principal has come up with a way to get kids to show up for school. He raffles off prizes for doing so. The hometown newspaper says the principal raffles off iPads, with those attending class the most having the best chance of winning:

For the iPad drawing, students were given a number of raffle tickets in proportion to their attendance for January and February. Students with perfect attendance got three tickets, those missing one day received two tickets and students missing a two days were given a single ticket.

He said he expected to have 400 or 500 students eligible but was surprised that 700 kids became eligible.

Other incentives include holding a breakfast for students, posting the current attendance rates in the halls and talking about the issue with students. His plan for next month involves having shirts made featuring school pride slogans like “learners today, leaders tomorrow.”

In Cincinnati, a charter school is taking the idea further. Dohn Community School will give cash to kids who show up.

A new incentive program rewards seniors who arrive on time every day, stay productive and out of trouble with $25 Visa cards every week, while underclassmen can earn $10. When a student receives a gift card, $5 will be put into a savings account to be paid out upon graduation. Dohn, which is a charter school in Walnut Hills, is comprised of mostly drop-out recovery students from other schools and other at-risk students from nearby communities.

In the Chicago area, it works the other way, too. Noble Network of Charter Schools charges students at 10 high schools $5 for detentions. The detentions include chewing gum and having untied shoelaces.


There’s no chance this bill will become law but its filing at the Legislature opens up a new front in the discussion of marriage nonetheless. The bill, chief authored by former gubernatorial candidate Sen. David Hann mandates a couple seeking a divorce to wait two years if there are minor children in the home. There are exceptions in the bill (available here)

(i) adultery;

(ii) domestic abuse as defined in section 518B.01, subdivision 2;

(iii) a refusal to seek or comply with treatment or aftercare for chemical dependency when indicated by an evaluation; or

(iv) desertion of one of the parties for a period of two years or more.

It’s a good chance to play “You Are.” You are married and want a divorce under this law. What do you do?


MPR’S Dan Gunderson looks at the controversy that refuses to die — the battle over the Fighting Sioux nickname at the University of North Dakota. The hockey team is using it again despite threats from the NCAA to punish the school for using it.

“There’s a lot of Sioux pride still standing in this fight,” said one vocal supporter of the nickname, Frank Burggraf, who played hockey at the University of North Dakota and now runs a hockey school in Fargo. “I’ve learned as was bestowed on us at the university when I played, we never quit, we dig in. We’re standing on truth and principle.”

The name brings out the racism in people, according to a story in today’s Duluth News Tribune. In this case, some fans of the Fighting Sioux’s opponents — the University of Minnesota Duluth — channeled their inner racist.

North Dakota fan Chad Czmowski said he was adjacent to the student section during Saturday night’s game when students began chanting “smallpox blankets” and what he described as other racist phrases and actions directed at the university’s mascot. Czmowski said other derogatory statements were specifically directed at the goalie’s mother.

“I thought it was over the top,” Czmowski said. “I’m all for rowdy cheering and rowdy student sections. (But) Personal attacks, it was too much and there is no place for it.”

A UMD fan dismissed the fans as “silly.”


Half of all Fortune 500 firms and 27 out of 55 U.S. government agencies are infected with the malware, DNSChanger. The Estonian malware hijacks your domain name system server, dictating search results and controlling the sites your computer visits. It also blocks anti-virus software and Microsoft Updates, according to CBS.

This is a remnant of a computer hijacking scheme that was shut down a couple of months ago. The blog, Krebson Security, says the cleanup isn’t going well:

“Yes, there are challenges with removing this malware, but you would think people would want to get this cleaned up,” said Rod Rasmussen, president and chief technology officer at Internet Identity. “This malware was sometimes bundled with other stuff, but it also turns off antivirus software on the infected machines and blocks them from getting security updates from Microsoft.”

Computers still infected with DNSChanger are up against a countdown clock. As part of the DNSChanger botnet takedown, the feds secured a court order to replace the Trojan’s DNS infrastructure with surrogate, legitimate DNS servers. But those servers are only allowed to operate until March 8, 2012. Unless the court extends that order, any computers still infected with DNSChanger may no longer be able to browse the Web.

This “eye chart” reportedly will tell you if your computer is affected. The FBI says if you’re infected, you should fill out this form.


Kids, ice, and fish.

Bonus I: The New York Times looks at 30 kidneys and the 60 lives they’ve changed.

Minnesotans can register to become organ and tissue donors here.

Bonus II: The dog that loves standing on things (Neatorama)

Bonus III: Your daily Linsanity:

Bonus IV: Apple Valley puts up signs to warn you not to put up signs.


Minnesota law allows people to use deadly force to defend themselves if they feel threatened in their home. Now a proposed expansion of that law would extend the same right to people in a car, tent, boat and other places. Today’s Question: When would you be willing to use deadly force?


Daily Circuit (9-12 p.m.) – First hour: Redistricting disputes and deals continue across the nation creating new political realities for all states. Here in Minnesota, a five-udge panel on redistricting will release the eagerly-awaited updated congressional and legislative district maps this afternoon. What is the national landscape for the November election as these redistricting disputes settle across the nation?

Second hour: Iran and its nukes. Plus, a naturalization ceremony in Saint Paul.

Third hour: Andrew Zimmern has spent the last few years roaming the globe in search of exotic and bizarre cuisine. Now he’s on the road in America, searching for the nation’s most unique culinary offerings. He joins the Daily Circuit to discuss what he’s found, and how we define innovation in the food business.

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: Internal politics in China. Plus, a review of a study showing “robo cop” red-light cameras cause more accidents than they prevent.

Second hour: Director Marshall Curry, on his film “If A Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front.”

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – The MPR Capitol team will have an analysis of today’s release of new congressional and legislative district lines.

It’s “Fat Tuesday” in New Orleans, so the five-piece band “Galactic” joins NPR’s production today.

  • After reading “Drive” by Daniel Pink, it’s very clear to me paying students to do school work will ultimately lead to unenthusiastic learners

  • First day for the Daily Circuit!

    And on malware and trojans and spammers, I hate them with a passion. They are getting cleverer by the day.

    Have you ever heard of Gresham’s Law “The bad drives out the good?” I’m afraid that the public internet is going to become that, and we’ll wind up with balkanized walled gardens that the wealthy pay good money to “keep clean”, sort of a more dystopic version of the environment we had in the early 90’s, with the public internet a morass.

  • MikeB

    Re: the proposed divorce rule. Another example of a supposed conservative using govt to dictate to people a private decision. The unrecognized irony continues…

  • Joe Busch

    “You are married and want a divorce under this law. What do you do?”

    Off to the bar to pick up the first willing woman I can find. Infidelity is the quickest and easiest way out.

  • jon

    The corner in Apple Valley was crazy with signs… you couldn’t read more then half of them because they were blocked by other signs. Perhaps just a list of who was running for what offices would have been then what they had.

    On the divorce law… it requires you to wait to years, unless you’ve already waited to years for your spouse to come back from the store with that pack of smokes they were going to get? Seems like you’ve already waited two years if that’s the case…

    Though we’ve already made the children the responsibly of their parents until they hit age 18 (at which point we will applaud if they die because they can’t afford health care, or boo in the event they are gay even if they are a US marine with biceps the size of a football.) now you have to remain legally married.

    Marriage is an institution that means less then the government seems to think it means, you don’t have to live in the same home as your spouse, or even speak to them, really it only gives a legal status that allows you to file taxes differently, and removes the courts from holding custody hearings when daddy/mommy move away because they don’t love each other any more.

    I really think that the definition of marriage needs to be written down firmly (and not as “between one man and one woman” but as “This is what being married nets you from the government that is the body regulating this for some reason, even though most religions consider marriage a covenant between two people and god, not two people and the government.)

  • AnnMcK

    Re: The divorce rule. I suppose some adultery could be arranged, if that’s what they really want.

  • Alison

    David Hann is making it to easy to find the hypocrisy in his divorce bill. He was a major propenent of the anti-marriage ammendment we get to vote on in November. The anti-marriage law already on the books is keep a number of my friends, committed partners with children, from getting married. The amendment he sponsored places one more hurdle in front of them.

    So Mr. Hann, is it better for children to have parents who are married or not?

  • David

    I was paid to go to school, $1.50 a day, for tutoring. The money was paid out twice a year so it actually added up.

    I’m ok with paying kids to go to school, but not just for going to school. They should have to tutor, be tutored, or participate in something.

    Though I doubt the schools could keep up with the money some kids make by not going to school and those are the kids that probably need the most help.

  • Jim Shapiro

    If the state is going to mandate forced togetherness, it should be incumbent on it that it also provides couples therapy. And earplugs.

  • Jamie

    Re: Republican Sen. gummint-outta-our-lives-except-for-the-most-personal-and-intimate-parts Hann’s divorce law proposal…

    The proposed legislation doesn’t provide for a good enough domestic abuse exception. That statute cited has a pretty narrow definition.

    It’s bad enough that an adult would have to withstand it for any extra time, but children subjected to the less obvious, but possibly equally damaging, emotional or psychological abuse would suffer seriously in their formative years if forced to remain with an abusive parent for an extra two years.

  • You’re welcome