With the influx of Trojan access cards in February, students do not seem to be experiencing the same hype which administration made of it. The purpose of these tokens of appreciation was intended to be an incentive for higher state testing scores; however, the incentives do not seem to be aligned with the goal. My main problem is with the effectiveness of the cards in correctly motivating students with certain “accesses”.
The first problem with the access cards is the inequality it creates based on academic achievement. Take the excused tardy privilege for example, where it is not fair if a student is tardy due to unexpected predicaments and must get a tardy pass while another individual who scored higher on a random state test has an access card to excuse himself or herself. The tardy
system should affect everyone equally and unrelated to academic performance.
The second problem is with the execution of the card’s features. The fact that one has to get the card stamped at the office before they can get leave campus just makes the entire process inefficient. With a twenty minute lunch, if you have to wait
ten minutes to get the card stamped and on top of that, walk off campus, there is not enough time to utilize the card. A simple way to fix this execution error is to have teachers able to hole-punch students’ Trojan access cards fourth period.
Next, when was the last time the “Front of the Line” feature was actually used? There are two problems with this incentive. First is that by the time one finds faculty to hole-punch his or her Trojan access card to get to the front of the line, there
either will be no line or it just simply would not be worth the trouble. Even if students had the access to get their card stamped to get to the front of the line, everyone would use it, and there literally would just be another line next to
the original line with nobody really at the “front”.
Now, for the“Office Detention” feature, this one is absurd because you might not ever even get to use it because most
detentions are held in classrooms. If classroom detentions were actually excluded with office detentions, then the wording on the Trojan access cards is ambiguous.
Finally, the fact that the cards are issued second semester would not even really motivate students to do better because the time to use the card would be so limited. Furthermore, there is literally no scenario in which a student can perform better with the incentive of a card with features that can rarely be applied. Moreover, one cannot study for state exams or “try” harder.
Their scores simply reflect their inherent knowledge so higher scores will not be the result of incentivizing.