An oft-used unofficial definition of insanity: doing things the same way over and over and expecting different results. Some say that applies to education improvement efforts.
The following qualifies as "doing it differently" but falls way short of positive innovation. We’re talking about the initiative to pay students who show up for school, behave and do better on their test scores. The lineup of opponents to this ill-conceived strategy is long and vocal.
Stafford Palmieri of the Fordham Institute writes: "Higher standards, better teachers, and more tests are not the solution here. We need to teach our children that pulling an all nighter may be worth the temporary discomfort or that missing an episode of Project Runway is worth it to finish their math homework. That starts with parents. So here’s another great question: How are we going to get parents to start teaching their children to respect education?"
Diane Ravitch offers a Forbes op-ed here that closes with the following: "Interesting, isn’t it, that while students in other countries are paying $1,500 a year for the chance to learn more, many American students will be paid that same amount just to do what they ought to be doing in their own self-interest?
Does the future belong to those who struggle to better themselves, make sacrifices to do so and work hard? Or to those who must be cajoled and bribed to learn anything at all?"
Go Stafford and Diane. Where do you fall on paying kids to do what they’re supposed to be doing away?