Students should be paid for good grades




Seventh grade Language Arts students at Millboro Elementary recently held two debates in class.  The students have been working on this project since late October.  They debated in front of School Superintendent Sue Hirsh, Millboro Elementary Principal Allison Hicklin and Millboro Guidance Counselor Jessica Hornsby, who all served as judges.

The class was divided into two groups and each debated a topic.  One topic was students should be paid for good grades.

“I’m Dusty and I was arguing that kids should not be paid for good grades.”

What was the main point of your argument?

“It was better uses for the money and it spoils kids and teaching greed,” says Dusty.

What did you learn through this project?  This took a long time.

“I learned that kids get spoiled when they are paid and how to cite stuff better,” says Dusty.

So how did you feel being up there?

“I was nervous,” says Dusty.

Madison also spoke in opposition on the topic.

“I was arguing for why we shouldn’t get paid for grades, good grades, because we shouldn’t, because we just really don’t need the money right now,” says Madison.  “And like younger kids they just don’t understand the use for it.  And plus it just might tax the schools up higher and higher.  So it’s kind of just like a waste for the teachers and plus that money could go for teachers’ higher pay and the janitors and the cafeteria personnel, so it could go towards their payment.  I was really nervous, but towards the end of it I was really happy because I felt like I did good on this and I did hard work and I felt better afterwards.”

“I’m Kaleb.  I was arguing the con side of paying students for grades.  We do not want to pay the students for grades because they need to learn that education is a reward itself.”

And what did you learn through this whole process?  This has been a long project.

“I learned a good way to argue  to people,” says Kaleb.

“My name is Hannah and I argued for the proposition of paying students for good grades.  The main points of my argument were saving, which you can use for further education, responsibility with your money and getting a saving experience.  I learned how to logically argue with people, though I could already do that before, but I learned how to research the facts that you can use and try to find things that you had already thought about and give it more facts.”

Teacher Maria Secoy is very proud of her students’ work.

“They spoke very clearly,” says Secoy.  “All of the lessons we’ve gone over with verbal fillers, I saw them use.  I heard very few “ums”, very few “likes”.  I was really impressed with the confidence all of them had.  I was happy to see that they took all of the social lessons that we included, including how to greet all of you, to heart and did that.  And then to hear them cite their sources, to hear them argue with each other and say ‘Now wait a minute, there’s a hole in your argument’ and bring that up and then to do so respectfully.”

The students were scored on the quality of presentation and the quality of arguments.  The judges said it was incredibly close, but the opposition was awarded the win in the debate on payment for grades.























Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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