"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Bribing Students to Pass Test Creates More Failure

But rest assured, the owners of this specialized form of insanity are not deterred by the facts or their own research. They will forge on, into the new frontier, where the profit motive has replaced moral and intellectual virtue, where science, politics, and humanity itself are traded like the commodities they have become. From the NY Times:

Offered up to $1,000 for scoring well on Advanced Placement exams, students at 31 New York City high schools took 345 more of the tests this year than last. But the number who passed declined slightly, raising questions about the effectiveness of increasingly popular pay-for-performance programs in schools here and across the country.

Students involved in the program, financed with $2 million in private donations and aimed at closing a racial gap in Advanced Placement results, posted more 5’s, the highest possible score. That rise, however, was overshadowed by a decline in the number of 4’s and 3’s. Three is the minimum passing score.

The effort to reward city students for passing Advanced Placement tests is part of a growing trend nationally and internationally, and one of several new programs in New York, to experiment with using financial incentives to lift attendance and achievement.

The results, scheduled to be formally announced on Wednesday, are likely to be closely examined by both enthusiasts who herald such programs as groundbreaking innovation and detractors who deride them as short-sighted bribes that threaten broader educational progress. . . .

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous12:00 PM

    What is this world coming to? Offering students incentives to score high on a test? Do they think that this will make the students learn something, or do they just want to boost the appearance of smarter students? Just because a student makes an exceptional score on a test does not mean that they actually know the content. Also, I personally think that money should not be associated with the students' test scores. It would be easy for them to get caught up with the money. The students' may lose sight of the true importance...learning. I believe that the money is a distraction.