We Shouldn’t Pay Kids To Learn writes Diane Ravitch in Forbes. In India, Korea and Japan, parents pay for after-school classes and cram schools to get their children into the best colleges.
In the U.S., by contrast, school districts and philanthropists are embarking on ever-more elaborate efforts to persuade students to care about school and to learn basic skills.
New York City is offering small theme high schools to pique students’ interests.
The newest proposal is the Game High School, where students will play videogames that teach them the skills they need. School will, supposedly, be fun and games, instead of a series of daunting challenges with some occasional drudgery thrown in for good measure.
If school can’t be made fun, perhaps it can be made lucrative. Educators in New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles are experimenting with paying students to show up, study and raise their test scores.
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?
Many middle-class U.S. parents pay for after-school enrichment, tutoring and SAT classes to give their kids an edge. We have “education parents” here. But not enough of them. And we’re addicted to the idea that education should be fun and easy.