Should we pay children to excel in school?
The Toronto District School Board is looking at whether paying children for getting good grades could be an effective motivational strategy, the Canadian Press reports.
Chris Spence, the board's director of education, started an online discussion about the idea recently, asking whether taxpayers should pay kids in more disadvantaged communities to do well in school.
It’s not about bribing students but about helping those who have very limited resources to focus on school, he says. Similar "money for marks" programs in the U.S. have seen limited results, however.
Closer to home, a group of first and second-year university students who were receiving financial aid at the University of Toronto were given a chance to make some money for keeping their academic grades above 70 per cent.
For each course taken, participants were given $100 for having an average of 70 percent, and then an additional $20 for each percentage point above 70 percent. Before the research began, most subjects said they believed the program would be a good incentive for raising their grades.
Although the incentive study turned out to be quite popular with students and both sign-up rates and participation were high, the final results reveal that the money created just a modest boost in academic achievement, and resulted in very few positive effects for the following year, once the incentive was lifted.
The debate continues, however. Supporters believe that paying students periodically will make the rewards of effective schooling more tangible, and will guide them down the right path. But others feel the payouts amount to little more than bribes, undermining kids' motivation to do high-quality work when they're not being paid.
Does paying for marks make sense? Should such efforts be funded privately through corporate or philanthropic donors rather than the public purse?
By Gordon Powers, MSN Money
Posted by: don | Dec 6, 2021 12:22:46 PM
NO. I for one, do not want my money supporting this. I already pay lots of taxes when I have no childern in school. I did pay my childern a small amount based on year end grades but the parent should pay it if they agree ....not the taxpayer!
Posted by: Wendy | Dec 6, 2021 1:12:00 PM
NO even if you giving money to the child for good grades; chances are the parents will take the money and their is no reward for thay child
Posted by: marcelle | Dec 6, 2021 3:59:03 PM
don't be ridiculous, I used to reward my children with toys or nintendo games whenever they exceled in school, now that was up to me as a parent to reward my kids in monetary value, but to ask tax-payers to do that is asking too much, now there are other measures to reward excellent student and they do it in private schools, by giving them bursaries for a higher education or a plaque with their name on it and the subject they exceled in, and you know may I give a personal insight like start hiring teachers who have passion for education and know how to motivate their students to learn, cause learning starts in the classroom, but also continues at home after school i.e with the parents
Posted by: Lisa | Dec 6, 2021 4:07:04 PM
I have two children in school and I'm all for it. Each student in a disadvantaged situation should get paid, according to their grades. So, for examples, if you worked hard and received an A, you get a good chunk more than the disadvantaged child that received a D. I think this is a fantastic idea.
Then, the child should have options (give them 3, for example), of how they are allowed to spend the money they earned. Why do I like this idea? You are giving children, that otherwise see no reason to get good grades some hope! Then they might slowly acquire an attitude change throughout their school years and may want to achieve something great in a career. Over time, this could curb violence, drug addiction, etc. Lastly, never lift the incentive. Who has a job, as adults where there isn't some kind of incentive to stay?? (Even if it is JUST the money.) I say do it.
Posted by: Guy | Dec 6, 2021 6:15:32 PM
We have bloggers who want to get paid for staying home to raise a family. Now some want the kids to get paid for good marks. Next thing you know, people will ask to get paid for being married for 10+ years and a higher amount for reaching 20 years. Why not pay those who have adopted an animal or offer a bonus incentive to all men who don't beat up their spouses. It sounds ridiculous doesn't it?
Let's go back to simple decision making and stop asking for everything. You make your decisions based on needs and not wants. Live within your means and contribute to society the best way a human being should.
Posted by: Tom | Dec 7, 2021 5:02:08 AM
Theres no way I want my tax money going towards this, this is ridiculous. The slacking students are going to have to learn how to motivate themselves on their own, they can't be spoonfed their whole lives. There comes a point for many of these students where they realize the value of their education and apply themselves towards it, this is a major character builder. People can't grow up expecting immediate reward for every single thing that they do.
Posted by: Janet | Dec 7, 2021 7:14:47 AM
And here is yet another way for the kids who are born with brains get rewarded and the kids who are not so smart to get punished. When is society going to understand that there is a reason that some kids don't do well. They can try and try until they blow their brains out but they are still never going to have the smarts for school because they are BORN that way!!!! Please stop putting pressure on dumb kids. Education is NOT the answer for all.
Posted by: Eutrice Hinds | Dec 7, 2021 7:51:21 AM
Yes.They should pay kids to stay in school.but the kids that realy need it.my son 16yrs old dont want to go back to school the school dont care i went to my son school to talk to them,they told you can take a horse to water but you can't make that drink it.The value of an education depend on the school and the teachers who care. if we have teacher who care they won't have to pay the kids to stay in school. I want to know why the CDSB high school dont have a BTI. All the money goes to the Toronto District School Board(high school) What about the kids in the Catholic High School ? No one thinking about them that they need a BTI catholic high school too time for a change in the CDSB.
Posted by: Lisa | Dec 7, 2021 8:17:19 AM
I can't believe the negativity on this issue. Tom, the slacking kids are slacking because they AREN'T motivated. There are so many reasons. Some could be problems at school with other kids, some could be problems at home that no one knows about. Wouldn't you want to give each of these disadvantaged kids a chance? Why would we need more tax dollars? Lower the salaries of the breaucrats at the top and you've got money for the kids. (By the way, you won't NEED as much for the breaucrats (or teachers) when the students are better behaved because they are working.) Janet, there are children born mentally retarded. That's true. However, in a majority of these cases we are just talking about children who aren't ambitious enough yet. Eutrice, I"m with you on most of this. Teachers need to care alot more. However, if we support one religion, then we've got to support all of them. Lastly, Guy, it sounds ridiculous that Canadians pay adults to have kids, but we do it. Doesn't it make alot more sense to pay poor children than to pay poor adults to have kids when they can't support the ones we already have?
Posted by: education | Dec 7, 2021 8:50:49 AM
Typically, kids who do well in school enjoy it more than kids who don't do well. By giving money to the successful ones, we're not making that much of an impact. The money would be better spent developing extra curricular activities that use the knowledge from class and applying it to interesting situations.
Getting good grades should be its own reward. Having to dangle 100$ in front of them to keep them motivated is a (very) short-term solution (if you can even call it that). What happens later when those incentives aren't there anymore? If you don't take pride in your work and you need someone to give you a few hundred dollars to force you to do work, I'm not sure I'd hire you or work anywhere close to you.
Posted by: Anisa | Dec 7, 2021 9:15:39 AM
Educational research already exists on this topic! Yes, the major concern here seems to be where the money would come from, not on how this would actually affect the students' grades. Some schools in the U.S. have tried to motivate students who do well with extrinsic rewards, and surprise! Students did worst! The rationale? The students were only doing well because of that extrinsic reward, they no longer cared about how or what they did as long as they got something for it, the instrinsic reward has been eliminated. Eventually the reward has to increase to provide the same level of motivation.
Besides what are we going to do with these individuals when they leave the school system? Yes they'll get paid to do a job, but what if that's not enough? We need to instill in them the desire to want to do well, for themselves first, then for parents, teachers, etc. And yes, having great teachers is definitely a major player for this to occur, we need people in the classroom who are there because they want to help their students learn, to challenge and help, not people who defaulted on the career because the hours and benefits sounded good.
Perhaps I am slightly biased, I am a teacher who just recently graduated with my Masters degree in child study and education and am still looking for a teaching position like so many others out there. I also believe that I am one of those teachers who cares, and wants to make a difference in the classroom!!! Now, I'm just waiting for someone to give me the opportunity!
Posted by: cjc | Dec 7, 2021 9:22:06 AM
Money can not buy respect,which is what these kids do not have.We as a society have taken away every possible tool that parents and teachers had to control a home or school enviroment. these kids know they can get away with almost anything, with no cosequences,bribing them isn't going to help.Why not give these monies to universities to lower tuition so that students there can fullfill their dreams without the hugh burden of student loans to pay back before they even have the means[ie a job],to do so.
Posted by: Evelyn | Dec 7, 2021 10:46:18 AM
Students who do well may be more motivated when thinking "I will get paid for my making more of a effort". Students who do not do well would probably think "I won't get paid for my efforts since I don't understand the work, so why should I bother". NO, students definitely should should not be paid for getting higher grades in school. Life is about self esteem, self worth and and encouraged motivation. You can not set a double standard in the educational system. The money would be better spent on training teachers how to be compassionate with and to motivate students to be excited about wanting to be in school. That would give the student a much better grounding for his/her future and in the work world. Remember, these students are going to be the leaders of our country in the future.
Posted by: john | Dec 7, 2021 1:29:13 PM
unfortunately most of the ppl becoming teachers just go for the money and the vacation time the ujniversities are flooding the market with teachers that have no jobs on top of that. they don't really care about the students. When there is a teacher that does care and goes above her expectations they are disliked by the other teachers who dont care and do every thing to get rid of them. and most of the time it does happen. but we should and should not pay students, if its in a form of a bursary its always the same students who get it (happenned at my high school), if yo't afford food then yes with all means pay that student, but the ones whose parents make a ton of money drives new cars and every thing shouldn't.
Posted by: Jacqueline R. Telfer | Dec 7, 2021 1:48:55 PM
Illegal "Black Pools" are the reason for the the US stock crash, and it still continues! Why is no one telling the truth about these networks who are paid by stock brokers to place bids on different stocks based on items that they view, while watching unsuspecting person(s) in the privacy of their homes. These are self-stated intelligent people, if so why is it necssary to exploit innocent poeple to pick a stock? Also many of these people being watched illegally and their lives toyed with are people of color. I am sorry but slavery is over...there is a man named Obama, he is the President of the United States of America...by the way he is BLACK!!!!
Posted by: Western Guy | Dec 7, 2021 3:36:25 PM
1. Lol at Jacqueline above. I had a guy tell me about that last year, his argument was hurt though because he was also wearing a hub cap to keep out mind probing. What type do you wear Jacqueline?
2. I almost can't believe it but I might have to somewhat side with Lisa on this one. This article talks about targeted payments to disadvantaged children (think ghetto people). I think the concept is that some of these children have to help provide for their families during their school years. With a plan like this instead of getting a job that cut into their school time they would be able to continue straight with school. As an incentive plan for better grades I think it fails but as a plan to keep kids that are already interested in school in school I think it has some merit.
3. However Lisa I am surprised at you. Haven't you previously claimed to be a single mom who can't work because she has to take care of her two children and that the life of a housewife is some of the hardest and most stressful there is as you have to take care of the children 24-7. Now you are claiming those same children go to school. So you have around 8 hours a day by yourself at home 5 days a week? Hmmm, not all of your posts paint the same picture.
Posted by: Jack | Dec 7, 2021 6:52:30 PM
@Western Guy. Sorry it took you so long to catch on to Lisa. Her name should really be Cybil. Of all the bloggers, I enjoy reading her responses because it goes back and forth depending on how she feels at that moment. I just hope she keeps it coming. It's free entertainment. Oh yeah I said it before, I think "she" is really a single man hiding behind LISA.
Posted by: Lisa | Dec 8, 2021 10:02:10 AM
Ahhh...I got a few of you thinking, didn't I? Good.
Thanks to "Western Guy" for kinda believing in me. ;) I've watched several documentaries on "ghetto" kids and I've talked to some face-to-face and I do believe we all deserve a chance as children to see that there is hope in life...and what very poor children see is that the only way to "make it" is through money. (They are correct to a great extent.)
By the way, "Western Guy" I work hard, probably just like you. My priorities are just very different, I believe. For me, my children come first and always will.
Lastly, I strongly believe in those that have something, helping the less fortunate. If you see the news, you will often see celebrities helping charities. I'm all for that. They have the resources and want to do it, then I"m happy they are doing it. What I don't want to see is people, like Canadians forced into "helping" through taxation. Honestly "Western Guy," even though I"m not fond of you, I believe your hard earned money (after paying your bills) is your money to spend any way you like. Enjoy!
Posted by: Western Guy | Dec 8, 2021 2:56:51 PM
Lisa what you say above seems alright on the face of it. Its just that you view everybody else as having more than you and that therefore you are entitled to them helping you. You believe as a stay at home mom you should be paid by the government for your housework( previous post of yours). You believe your kids as less fortunates should be paid to go to school (post above). Your views seem to always benefit your position as much as possible. Maybe you are a wonderful socialist that has contributed much to society that has fallen on hard times and needs some of that back or maybe you are just plain lazy and greedy wanting society to fund you in a good life while you contribute nothing.
Lastly Lisa you constantly tell us you work hard. You are a single stay-at-home mom looking after two kids who go to school. Raising children isn't exactly easy but its been done billions of times and with modern technology its much easier than it used to be (think dishwashers, clothes washers, vacuums, modern food etc). I am going to assume that you have limited resources in life (from prior posts) so you probably are cleaning in a condo or maybe a small townhouse. Lastly you seem to have copiuous amounts of time to post on blog boards so it looks like you probably have a fair amount of free time. All of this paints a picture of very little actual work. I think you don't actually understand the concept of work.
Posted by: Lisa | Dec 8, 2021 3:41:14 PM
Wow "Western Guy" you really didn't get me at all...and unlike what you think, I don't have much more time for you. Sorry. However, you are lucky I have a small brain (joke) and I type fairly quickly as well.
You seem to take life wayyy too seriously. Yes, it would be very nice if each stay-at-home mother or father got paid to do it. Do I actually think that's going to happen. No! Our country is already in wayyy too much debt over all the money they are "giving" away for stupid things. (And no, that does NOT mean I think it's stupid to pay a parent to stay at home.) I believe my original point was, I would much rather pay a parent to stay at home then send a child to daycare or even a babysitter. I strongly believe one of the parents should be raising the kids, since noone loves your children the way you do. I hope.
NO, I'm not single. I"m happily married. You missed that blog, didn't you. Next. I would still like to have my kids and every kid, where the parents are at a certain income level, paid. Do I think it's actually going to happen. Again, no. Again, you've got to chill.
You say I fell on hard times. I did to a point. However, the really nice thing about that is, when you make a comeback you see the world from a different point of view. That's something I've got that it looks like you're missing.
I like the comment where I"m cleaning a condo or townhouse. That was cute. Wrong again.
You seem to have a chip on your shoulder. Since according to you, you work much harder than me, and you're rollling in money, why don't you move to the USA and give to a charity of your choice? Then, you will get a tax break and won't be overly taxed like in Canada. It seems to be a win-win situation for you.