Thursday, October 2, 2008

School Sucks: but we'll bribe you with cell phone minutes!

Roland G. Fryer, Jr., former "Chief Equality Officer" for NYC schools and Harvard economist will head up the Education Innovation Lab, funded with $44 million from Eli Broad. The first year, researchers, who include "economists," "marketers," and "others" who are interested in reforming education will focus on studying "incentives" for students. This would include Fryer's plan to give middle school students cell phone minutes based on their performance. His plan won't be implemented in NYC (thank God), because the money couldn't be raised by private donors. Currently, NYC pays students in ninth and tenth grade up to $500 for test scores. It hasn't worked so far, but they're going to keep doing it.

Couldn't the money do much more if it was spent on teaching & learning--providing incentives for students to come to school because the subject matter is relevant and interesting, the buildings are welcoming, and teachers care about them?

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