Friday, January 25, 2008

Paying Students To Study

You might think I'd be against this program that will pay students $8/hr just to study. And you'd be partly right, partly wrong.

You'd be right that, in principle, I'm against this policy. In fact, Joanne (see blogroll) had a post a couple weeks ago quoting a report that such bribery schemes don't really work. I'd suggest that such programs are probably counter-productive, but hey, give it a try. It may not do any good, but there's no evidence it'll do harm. According to the report mentioned above, after the incentive is removed the students just revert to where they were before the incentive was instituted. No harm, no foul.

I wouldn't try to stop this program because it's not publicly funded. If some fool wants to give his money to poor kids, and the money causes no harm, more power to him.

3 comments:

Ellen K said...

This being discussed on some other blogs I am on and the general consensus, even among high school and college students, is that it rewards those who don't care about school anyway and who are the most disruptive while in class. Maybe instead we should pay them to stay away....

David said...

It would probably work better if you pay them for performance (test scores) rather than for presence and for effort.

allen said...

> It would probably work better if you pay them for performance (test scores) rather than for presence and for effort.

Now what kind of a precedent would that set?