I got an “A”! Now where’s my pay?

Are American children really that spoiled nowadays, lacking in
curiosity, and have little to no more drive to learn for knowledge’s
sake that they need to be bribed to study? See NYTimes: Next Question: Can Students Be Paid to Excel?

"The fourth graders squirmed in their seats, waiting for their prizes.
In a few minutes, they would learn how much money they had earned for
their scores on recent reading and math exams. Some would receive
nearly $50 for acing the standardized tests, a small fortune for many
at this school, P.S. 188 on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

"When the rewards were handed out, Jazmin Roman was eager to celebrate
her $39.72. She whispered to her friend Abigail Ortega, “How much did
you get?” Abigail mouthed a barely audible answer: $36.87. Edgar
Berlanga pumped his fist in the air to celebrate his $34.50." [read more]

This reflects the sad state of the American education system. If
there’s someone to be rewarded it
should be the teachers (i.e. raising their meager salaries), not the spoiled brats in school. We need more
and better educators, funding for schools and better programs to improve education, but not an entrainment
program for little capitalistic brats teaching them to value money and
grades over quenching their intellectual thirst and curiosity.

I find this experiment to be preposterous. No wonder. The idea came
from a Harvard economist.

Serendipitously, I’m reading Nassim Nicholas
Taleb
(author of The Black Swan) right now. Taleb has a very unpleasant view of economists (i.e. see
essay The Opiates of the Middle Class).
This experiment (i.e. student incentive program) is a case in point why
Taleb’s antagonistic attitude towards economists is warranted. I think
they have to go back to the drawing board and ditch this incentive
program before it corrupts young minds.

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