Headline, October13, 2013


Roland Fryers's Big Ideas are as far reaching as you can imagine> Let's hear what the genius economist from Harvard says:

'''Many attempts have been made to reduce the racial test score gap. HeadStart, perhaps the largest of these initiatives , is effective at increasing school readiness, but test-score gaps quickly emerge once kids enter school.

Evaluation of project STAR (the Tennessee class-size experiment) provides little evidence that reducing ''class size'' will substantially decrease the achievement gap.

There have also been many attempts at busing kids to better schools. Yet racial achievement gaps have remained essentially unchanged even in school districts where busing has been the most successful at producing desegregated schools.

Indeed, the Moving To opportunity initiative, which offered residents of high=poverty neighborhood the opportunity to move to lower-poverty neighborhoods, showed no improvement in achievement for girls and a decline in achievement for boys.

The ''I Have A Dream'' program in New York City Offers first-grade students a free College education if they graduate from High School but has not been shown to increase academic performance.

Complicating matters is the fact that many of the students in the neighborhoods that are being targeted rarely observe their older peers being successful in the specific channels into which they are being pushed.

Thus we have a situation in which our intervention programs are asking young children to be forward-looking and brave enough to trek down an uncertain path with no previous examples to help guide the way.

Assuming that students are innately capable of high achievement, they simply need the proper incentives to perform well. Educators have been using these techniques for centuries. ^^^ The program I propose offers schools cash incentives and scientifically tests their effect on myriad assumptions^^^.

First, do monetary incentives improve academic performance? Second, do monetary incentives for academic performance curb other risky behavior or increase motivation>? Third, do group-reward systems improve performance more than individual-reward systems? Fourth, what student demographics gain most from individual and group incentive programs? Fifth, what are the long term effects of incentive programs?

The details of the incentive program are simple and intuitive. My first program was at the school in Bronx in which we instituted noncash social rewards for good academic performance, such as ice-cream socials and pizza parties. Currently, I am engaged in which we are paying kids in thirty Dallas schools two-dollars per book read.

And next year, in coordination with KIPP schools program, we will start paying according to test scores in forty-five schools around the country, For four tests per semester, a child will earn his or her score divided by four. That is, if you make a perfect 100  you'll earn twenty-five dollars.

We'll see, but I suspect that'll be a powerful incentive to a third grader. In the group-reward-system, students are randomly assigned to groups and earn the group average divided by four, irrespective how any individual student performs.

The latter fosters an environment where achievement is celebrated and provides the correct incentives for students to tutor one another. The results will be fascinating?!!''

With respectful dedication to the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:
''' !!! The Power To Do Great !!! '''

Good Night & God Bless!

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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