Last week I posted Can’t Economists Stay Away From Schools? Don’t They Have Enough Other Things To Do?, a commentary on a new study on bribing students to work hard on tests that was written by, among others, the economist from Freakonomics.
There are many things wrong with this study, including the fact that, as huge amounts of prior research have demonstrated, the results don’t carry over to the future.
But, as I mentioned in my first post:
They wanted to see if students would try harder on a standardized test if they knew they would get cash or some kind of immediate reward if they improved on their results. They tried offering these rewards in a couple of different ways, but found the biggest test improvement would come if they gave the student the money ($20) or non-cash award before the test and then told them they would have to give it back if they didn’t score well.
Let me tell ya’, implementing that kind of policy would really help create a positive classroom culture!
Here’s an interview with one of the other authors of the study that appeared on Fox News, and not this part of the conversation — done when they are both laughing:
Q: The ones that did badly — did you rip it away from them and then did they scream and cry?
A: Yeah, it’s hard when you rip a trophy out of the hands of an eight year old.