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Ever wish your students were more motivated? If you’re like most of us, you have tried an array of rewards and punishments to motivate kids. There’s only one problem: it doesn’t work. At least it doesn't work well enough. People (yes, even students) aren’t motivated from the outside so rewards and punishments only work to a point. We are internally motivated. That’s why it's essential to engage and inspire students to be motivated to succeed in school (and life.)

If you’re ready to move beyond the reward/punishment model and embrace a whole new way to understand motivation, I encourage you to come back regularly. It’s time to challenge the status quo and create schools and classrooms based on what really motivates behavior.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The New American Dream: Promising Children As Much Education “As They Can Afford”

When writing about internal control psychology/choice theory, I try to avoid politics as much as possible. Internal control psychology is neither “liberal” nor “conservative.” It’s neither Democrat nor Republican. I practice and teach internal control psychology because it accurately describes human motivation and behavior. It transcends culture and politics.

Despite my usual reluctance to enter the political fray, however, as an advocate of public education I have decided to share the following:

Speaking at a campaign stop in Virginia on June 27, presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney said the following:

“I think this is a land of opportunity for every single person….And I want to make sure that we keep America a place of opportunity, where everyone has a fair shot. They get as much education as they can afford.”

If you suspect I might have made that up, check out the video yourself and fast forward to the nine-minute mark.

“They get as much education as they can afford.” What a chilling comment. I may have given up some of my youthful idealism, but I still remember growing up with the belief that “anyone can grow up to be president.” The key, we were told, was to study hard, get a good education. Opportunity was there if we worked hard. Education was the great equalizer.

A legitimate democracy and meritocracy only exists when every citizen has equal access to opportunity. I have always believed that access to excellent education is an indispensable component of that equation. According to Mitt Romney, however, children only deserve to get “as much education as they can afford.”

Oops. Guess I was wrong.

A strong public education is a cornerstone of democracy. The great American experiment may be drawing to a close if we decide to elect Mitt Romney as out next president. 


As always, if you enjoyed this and found it useful, please send the link to your friends. Thanks.

Bob Sullo
PO Box 1336
Sandwich, MA 02563

For information about books by Bob Sullo and to schedule a keynote, workshop, or series for your school, agency, or parent group visit 

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