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  1. #1
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    Pay children for school attendance and improving test scores

    The Financial Times discusses New York's experiment to pay children for school attendance and improving their test scores.

    The New York programme is small: only 2,500 families, chosen from six impoverished neighbourhoods including Harlem and parts of Brooklyn and the Bronx, are participating. The performance of these families - whose household incomes may fall well below the federal poverty level or as much as 30 per cent above it - will be measured against a control group of 2,500. 60 behaviours are rewarded with cash, from a $25 payment to be made when parents attend meetings with teachers to $600 for students who perform well in important exams. In all, a family can earn up to $5,000 a year, with big rewards for taking health tests and working for at least 30 hours a week.

    The goal is to encourage behaviours that will help break cycles of entrenched poverty. Americans with a high-school diploma cut their chance of living in poverty by half.

    The New York experiment is fully funded by private foundations and individuals, including Mayor Bloomberg.

    It is too early to evaluate the benefits and costs of the New York experiment. Nevertheless, I will bet that it rasises the performance of the students participating. The reason is simply that boys and girls as well as adults respond to incentives, as every parent realizes time after time. Rewarding these poor students for better performance is similar to the tuition scholarships and stipends that colleges award to students with good grades.

    What do you think?

    Link:
    FT.com / Home UK / UK - Cover Story: Do the right things


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  2. #2
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    Re: Pay children for school attendance and improving test scores

    I'm skeptical. But then again, it's very hard for me to believe that someone who is dirt poor wouldn't want to make sure their kid got a good education to break the cycle. Of course as I'm typing this I realize that we've already given them an incentive to reproduce out of wedlock so it must work. (earned income credit and welfare)

    I'd rather see them jail the parents. Most people will conform if they HAVE to.



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    Re: Pay children for school attendance and improving test scores

    I was once a big brother for a student from a dysfunctional one parent family. The student received high aptitude scores but was failing in school. It was no wonder that the student was failing given his terrible home environment. His mother had a different boyfriend on a weekly basis, and the boyfriends didn't seem to do much other than hang out and drink beer. I can see where children in such dsyfunctional families would do better in school if they are were given an incentive to do so, since their family wasn't encouraging them to do well in school.


    "If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts." Albert Einstein
    "If your worried about falling off the bike, you'd never get on" Lance Armstrong
    "Dress cute wherever you go, life is too short to blend in." Paris Hilton
    "Money is one of the greatest instruments of freedom ever invented by man." F.A. Hayek

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