Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Should We Pay Students To Study?

I am curious to see what my students think of this. But before I get to it, here are links to stories about "Obamanomics" (which also have some info on McCainonomics, I guess).

New York Times


Here is the link to the Wall Street Journal article on the studying issue and its intro. I also have a link to another story about this in case anyone can't get into the WSJ link.

When Schools Offer Money As a Motivator

"More and more school districts are banking on improving student performance using cash incentives -- a $1,000 payout for high test scores, for example. But whether they work is hard to say.

In the latest study of student-incentive programs, researchers examining a 12-year-old program in Texas found that rewarding pupils for achieving high scores on tough tests can work. A handful of earlier studies of programs in Ohio, Israel and Canada have had mixed conclusions; results of a New York City initiative are expected in October. Comparing results is further complicated by the fact that districts across the country have implemented the programs differently."

Pay for grades — does it work?


Valerie Long said...

I think students should be compensated for performing above average in school. However, I think that whatever incentive program is implemented that it should be customized instead of offering just one type of reward. Offering things such as cell phones, music downloads, brand name clothes, video games, car dealership discounts (for that first car) or maybe tickets to a local theme park or concert may be more appealing to more students vs. cash (as adults, we envision cash as the best incentive to be won, for pre-teens and teenagers, maybe not so much). Many of these non-cash items could be purchased in bulk at a discount which would positively affect the budget as well, not to mention that they would likely have a higher perceived value over a cash reward.

I believe many people need some form of gratification on a regular basis to keep them motivated. For some students, the thought of getting accepted into a good college, earning a high school diploma or simply appreciating the opportunity to be educated isn't incentive enough to put forth a great effort everyday at school (Most adults wouldn't work very hard if they weren't receiving a paycheck, right?). Incentive programs would help.

It may be worthwhile to consider rewarding parents as well. Sadly, many parents assume that kids will learn what they need at school. Not so! Parents can help their kids by teaching them how to manage their schedules and time at home, by helping them study, and by just showing their kids that they are engaged and excited about what they’re accomplishing.

Cyril Morong said...


Thanks for checking this out and commenting. You make some good points and have some good ideas. I guess that it can be hard to get kids to see the long term consequences of studying vs. not studying, so maybe incentives can help.