Paying students for attendance, behavior and homework can boost achievement.
When Covid-19 struck, many schools canceled in-person classes to control the spread, with some remaining virtual for a year or more. Whatever the benefits, these decisions delayed student learning. To this day, kids are lagging behind previous norms for academic progress—the poor most of all. With kids having sacrificed so much in the fight against Covid, a disease that primarily harms those much older, it’s time for society to get students back on track.
As it turns out, there’s a way to improve student learning that even sullen teenagers won’t complain about: Give them financial incentives to study hard.
Parents go to work even when they don’t feel like it because they get paid. Students will show up on time, do their homework, and pay attention in class, even if they’d rather be playing videogames, for the same reason.
Roland G. Fryer, Jr., a John A. Paulson Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, is professor of economics at Harvard University and founder of Equal Opportunity Ventures.
Photo by Kameleon007/iStock