|Educational Bribery - monday 2009-06-08 1258||last modified 2009-06-08 1259|
|Categories: Current Events|
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Do I trust the Post as a research institution? When they claim a nearly 40% improvement when children are paid for better test scores, does that figure hold up? I suspect it doesn't.
A couple of disconnected flaws in the plan, aside from where the money is sustainably coming from (it's presently privately created and funded by Harvard's EdLabs - who should use some of their millions to hire a competent web designer). The streetwise kids are going to mug the high scoring kids on pay day. Other schemers would capitalize on their earning reputation by assisting their classmates for a percentage of the take. The pay scheme promotes creative cheating. The unspoken lesson is that the only things worth doing are those that pay, or that it's worth doing things you don't enjoy if you get money in exchange. Those are flawed messages regardless of age. Other streetwise kids are going to notice that $500 for hard work each year doesn't compare to the money you can get on the street - now why bother with school at all?
EdLabs is releasing more literature on their research later. I look forward to seeing how critical objections are handled, but I think the decades-long results of this study are going to be much more interesting than one school year's worth of observation, and I hope they have it in their mandate to follow these kids and some of their unbribed peers into adulthood.