Across the United States, pilot programs are in the works that will experiment with paying children to excel in school.
This program has stirred up controversy; in fact the man that designed it, Roland Fryer, Jr., received numerous death threats if he did not halt its progress immediately.
The real question, however, is not whether the program is ethically sound, nor is it whether we’re abolishing the principle of learning to learn. No, the question is: why all the controversy?
Enticing students to perform better academically with money really is no different than an adult being paid to go to their job every morning. There are very few adults that would work for free, so why people expect students to give their best day after day with no tangible reward?
The tested results of this plan are promising: In Fryer’s study, students that received a cash reward for good grades performed at a level three months more advanced than students of the same school that received no rewards.
Opponents of Fryer’s plan cite evidence that in the long-term, the subjects’ grades begin to drop, which is exactly the opposite of the program’s goal.
If this is true, why do adults’ performances in their professions not go down a few months after being hired? Aren’t they being paid to do a job as well?
The entire program is at least worth a try; after all, with programs like No Child Left Behind, America is pumping billions of dollars into education yearly in an attempt to bolster poor grades, so it seems a logical step to at least try a program that has appeared successful thus far.
There is no acceptable reason not to attempt Fryer’s plan. After all, even if the idea is a miserable failure, we will be right where we started, a place that really was not that bad to begin with.
Will Bennett is a remarkable staff writer who was recruited from his early days. In fact, before Bennett could even speak, the Mycenaean took serious interest in him. While many consider this practice to be unethical, the Leesville editors disagree. Alex Stewart claims that his contributions to the staff have been “Pullitzer Prize” worthy.
In addition to his writing, Bennett enjoys animals, Freshberry Frozen Yogurt, Hip-hop music, and long walks on the beach. He can often be found on his seaside estate composing original music, writing moving poetry, and balling with old basketball greats like Larry Bird and Michael Jordan.