Thursday, September 11, 2008

Paying for good grades

The latest idea to improve education in Chicago Public schools is to pay students for good grades. $50 for an A, $35 for a B, and $20 for a C. Are you kidding me? Do they think that our tax dollars just grows on trees?

Some obvious problems:
  • Teachers pressured by parents to give good grades
  • Where will all this money come from?
  • A bigger motivation to cheat
  • Fast cash, no delayed gratification ~ this is not how life works

This idea is quite a stretch in my mind. Maybe I am just old fashion.

What do you think about this idea of improving education?


Westy said...

A couple points in response. I don't see two of your points as issues.
First of all, all the money is privately donated, and they already have access to it.
Secondly, half the money is not paid until graduation, thus delaying gratification.

Personally, I think it's a fabulous idea. I think this may have been an experiment Roland Fryer thought of, and I'm a big fan of at least trying it.

On the West Side, a lot of time we see kids who do not realize the value of the education in front of them. Now yes, it's delayed value, but they can't see past that delay because they've never seen anyone who has gotten past that.

Now, by creating present value, you're potentially getting them to perform as if they were actually valuing education correctly.


KG said...

There is money being put in for a pilot program. Are we to believe that this will always be there and it will increase as all schools are included? Also, will this always be just for ninth graders or will it end up being across the board? What happens when someone gets to 10th grade and the incentives are gone. I don't know how this cannot turn into a money pit of bribing students to succeed for a time.
Also they said a student could earn up to $4,000. The amount of money that we are talking about in one school alone could be a lot much less over an entire CPS system of high schools.
I guess, I just can't see how this will happen without an extreme cash flow.

JP Paulus said...

This particular program was started by Roland G. Fryer, a Harvard economist & professor. He spoke about this on CNN's "Black in America" series as one possible solution that he encouraged to have analyzed (when a fellow academic said such an idea needed more research).

The idea is really Standard Operating Procedure for many suburban families. Perhaps not to the degree of money, but certainly many follow that concept.

For some people, it's a primary motivator. Others, it just may merely enhance what they'd be willing to do.

I don't think even Dr. Fryer would state this is the end all solution, but certainly can play one vital piece of the puzzle.

The amount may seem like a lot...but how does that compare to the price of arresting & incarcerating youth who drop out & lose incentive to learn?

KG said...

Again I would ask, how could we pay for all this?

Sarah said...

I read the article on page 2 of the sun times today. It said all the money is from private donations, not our tax dollars.

It only is for freshman and sophmores, because they feel that these are the grades that most teens drop out at.

I am troubled by this as well.
You dont always GET something for doing what you supposed to and kids and adults need to learn this. Yes, some kids in the suburbs and yes some kids in the city get money for good grades. So what? I never knew any kids that did, and we certainly didnt but we finished high school anyway.

I think this isnt stressing school for the sake of education and self betterment which is what we should be putting this private donation towards anyway. Why not take the private donations and better the schools so perhaps kids will want to go there? Whats the point of getting an A at a sub par school because you still will not be prepared to attend college when you graduate with your 4000 dollars anyway.

Its a sad day when we got to pay kids to do what they are supposed to anyway.
I think this is messed up and sending the wrong message about money and options and schooling.