Sparta Bucks: Good Idea or Just a Waste of Paper?

A new school year at North Springs means many new things. New teachers, new classes, new students, and this year, a new reward system. Yes, I am talking about the infamous Sparta Bucks. Sparta Bucks are the reward you get for following the PROS system. PROS (an acronym for Prepared, Respectful, On time, Smart) and Sparta Bucks are new this year, but does this new reward system actually work?

I have heard many opinions about Sparta Bucks from both students and teachers. The most common opinion held by students is that it is childish. I personally believe that while it is a good idea on paper, Sparta Bucks are extremely childish. Teachers are giving away PAPER MONEY for being good! This is not Monopoly or the Game of Life. It’s not a third grade classroom, either. Most students are old enough to get a real job where they make real money, so why should they care if they get paper money? I mean you can get rewards that many do not really want (with few Sparta Bucks), and, in some cases, do not really need.

While some students express that they do care about making bank on Sparta Bucks and others secretly want Sparta Bucks, plenty of teachers do not even give Sparta Bucks. Personally, I have seen only one of my teachers hand out Sparta Bucks on a regular basis, and I have only seen three of my teachers hand them out at all! That might just be me, but what is the point of this reward system if Sparta Bucks are not even given to students? Sparta Bucks will not promote the PROS system if the students do not get a reward.

The teachers that do give out Sparta Bucks give them out rapidly in most cases. When they run out of Sparta Bucks to give, they ask for more. Sometimes it takes about two to three days for teachers to get more Sparta Bucks. During the last week of August, there was no more green paper to make Sparta Bucks. While this problem can be fixed easily, is it actually worth it to spend so much money on green paper and ink? This could be considered a huge waste of paper. Many teachers complain about how they do not even have enough paper to print out assignments. If so then why are there so many Sparta Bucks? Some people say that Sparta Bucks could be electronic or virtual. With a school like ours, in which you can get electronics stolen when you bring them to school, how would we keep track of them? Maybe credit cards, which can lead to other problems.

I asked other students about their opinions and feelings about the new system. “I think it is kind of pointless,” says Senior Marcus Williams. “It really is a middle school concept. People who do one right thing and do bad things the rest of the time get recognized and get Sparta Bucks. It just isn’t fair.”

While there are many rewards that are good, such as a free parking spot and prom tickets, the good ones seem unreachable. This does give students something to strive for, though. Perhaps, this desire could lead to the forging of Sparta Bucks? I think Sparta Bucks are a good idea in theory, but in a real life high school setting, it doesn’t pan out to be what the administrators were hoping.

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