Laptops for good grades: An offer students can’t refuse?

Freshmen at Arizona’s Sunnyside and Desert View high schools will get a big incentive when they begin classes in August, the Tucson Citizen reports: a promise of a laptop computer. The new laptop is for keeps. They can take it home and use it throughout high school. And, district officials hope, into college. All the freshmen need do in their first semester is be there the first day of school Aug. 11; have at least a 2.5 grade-point average; have at least a 95-percent attendance rate–which means no more than four excused absences, and none unexcused; have no major suspensions; and take part in at least one extracurricular activity, such as a sport or club. The hope is to raise the graduation rate at the two Sunnyside Unified School District high schools from the current 63 percent.
Superintendent Manuel Isquierdo said the district would help students bring up their grades, especially in the first semester of freshman year. "First semester is the championship game," he said. "If you don’t get the computer at the end of the first semester freshman year, you don’t get it at all…

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