kitchen table math, the sequel: Steve H on the GI Bill

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Steve H on the GI Bill

After Crimson Avenger asked how school districts are responding to the stimulus bill, Steve H commented:
I was just thinking about the GI bill after WW II. If they really want to help kids, give the money to them and not the schools. You will get a lot more effort per dollar. A lot more school improvement will happen when kids and parents start paying attention and expecting more.
I agree.


SteveH said...

Has anyone heard about the effectiveness of those special cases where someone or some organization agreed to pay college expenses for all kids who maintain a 'B' (or something like that) average during school? I would like to know if that incentive caused the schools to try harder, or did they just assume that it was all up to the kids and their parents. Even if the schools didn't improve, would the results be better than just sending the money to the schools directly?

Of course, if students work harder, the numbers for the school should improve even if the school doesn't do anything new. Schools might just say that it shows that a good education is all about student effort. Then again, if you don't go to school and teach yourself, you can be successful if you work hard enough. However, there might be kids who try really hard and get support from their parents who still don't do well. Those are the cases that should drive school improvement. One can hope.

Still, I think you will get more effort per dollar from the kids and parents than you will from the school.

Catherine Johnson said...

All I've seen, thus far, are newspaper accounts that attribute the improvement to the kids.

I remember Education Next having an article.

I should take a look at it. (Findings were positive.)

Anonymous said...

I've proposed an incentive system for our school for next year. Here's the deal...

On the supposition that the most valuable commodity for my kids is time off we will provide it each week in exchange for:

* all homework complete

* all class work complete

* no disciplinary referrals

* 80% success on a weekly personalized academic goal

Meet these criteria and on Friday you get 1 hour to spend in a 'game room' doing anything you please.

We're not sure it will fly by the district pooh bahs and we're not sure it will work. We are sure it's better than rewarding valueless grades to kids who only see them as nerd indicators.