New York City will drop a privately funded program that paid low-income families for good behavior, such as “taking their children to the dentist, sending them to school regularly, and holding a full-time job,” reports Ed Week. High school students could earn $600 for passing a high school Regents exam.
In its first two years, the program produced “modest” effects,” concluded a study, which compared participants to a control group. From the New York Times:
. . . Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg pointed to a few examples of success: High school students who met basic proficiency standards before high school tended to increase their attendance, receive more class credits and perform better on standardized tests; more families went to the dentist for regular checkups.
But the elementary and middle school students who participated made no educational or attendance gains. Neither did high school students who performed below basic proficiency standards before high school.
Two thirds of the participating high school students score below the basic level.
In two years, more than $14 million was paid to 2,400 low-income families, who averaged more than $6,000 a year in rewards. A follow-up study will look at whether positive changes will continue once the rewards go away.