Yesterday, the NY Times reported on NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s recent approval of a controversial, large-scale plan designed to improve high school students’ performance in the city and more effectively reach out to under-performing youth. The comprehensive campaign will use incentives like free minutes and ringtones for their cellphones, as well as free tickets to concerts and sporting events, to help motivate students in 24 schools during its pilot phase. And ironically, though Bloomberg still stands by his stringent anti-cellphone policy in schools, he has signed off on allowing every student in the program to be issued a cellphone. (Which they won’t be able to use at school.) The incentives program will be accompanied with personal mentoring (and possibly even motivational text messages from celebrities like Jay-Z and LeBron James) as well as an internet and mobile ad campaign.

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