Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Paying for test scores

Harvard Professor Roland Fryer who intends to experiment on our students by giving them cash awards if they score high enough on their interim assessments is going to become "chief equality officer" at Tweed, according to the NY Times.

So much for these supposedly "no-stakes" exams.

The results of this experiment will be monitored by Fryer.

So much for independent evaluations.

The Mayor apparently loves the idea of paying kids cold hard cash for performance, just as much as he approves of the "pay for play" arrangement in his controversial Randall's island deal, now in court, in which exclusive rights to most of the fields in a public park would be granted to private school students for the next twenty years.

But what if you're a conscientious student and you are trying hard, but still can't make a perfect score? What about kids with disabilities, or ELL students?

Too bad for you.

Question: can anyone tell me why this experiment is likely to lead to more equality, rather than even more disparity between high and low achieving families and kids?

This and other similar experiments (in pdf) involving cash incentives to kids for high scores are being funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, Robin Hood, the Open Society Institute (George Soros' foundation), and the insurance company AIG, as well as the Mayor himself.

Students who pass all five Regents would be paid $3,000. If the program is seen as "working" and is expanded, it could cost the city "hundreds of millions" a year, according to Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs in the NY Post.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wanted to share the following comments from a concerned NYC resident whose kids our out of the system but who still cares what happens in this city. This is a copy of a letter that has been sent to various elected officials. It is not just those of us here, people everywhere in the city are concerned, but somehow those voices are never heard.

"I am writing again in regard to congestion pricing. As a resident of New York City, and one who lives in Brooklyn, I feel that if congestion pricing is approved, once again the middle class people of NYC are being shafted. It's bad enough that I have to pay to travel within the five boroughs - to have pay a toll to get into Manhattan and then another if I am traveling between 6am and 6pm - that is just shameful. These are the kinds of things that make you just want to give up living in the City and move out of the area all together. It's just getting to be too expensive to be middle class in NYC - but then maybe that's what you want - to be a city of wealthy people taking care of the people w/low incomes. I can't figure you guys out.

On another issue, I can't believe what Mayor Bloomberg wants to do with regard to paying people for going to work, sending their kids to school, etc. Is he kidding? What about making sure your children go to school because you are a good parent? Good grades - that should come because you want to succeed not because someone is paying you - what does he want them to learn from this? I guess that's what he did with his children - paid them for doing well. As a parent of former NYC public school students and one who worked and was involved in the Parent's Association - he is destroying our education system w/his ideas... I can't wait until his tenure is up and I only hope that his new announcement doesn't turn into a run for president - "

A concerned NYC Resident

Dorothy Giglio
Region 6 High Schools
President Council