Cash For Coming To School?

Teachers and principals and even superintendents have been giving prizes and recognition to students for years -- trips to Great America for good attendance, etc. But what if the rewards came from the city or the state, and what if they came in the form of cold, hard cash?

That's the focus of this article little-noticed James Traub article from last Sunday about the politics of poverty (Pay for Good Behavior). New York's Mayor Bloomberg recently announced some new antipoverty proposals, including the idea of giving poor New Yorkers an incentive “to stay in school, stay at work and stay on track to rise out of poverty.”

Apparently this has worked wonders for school attendance in Mexico, and has been proposed at various times by folks including Newt Gingrich. Not surprisingly, opinions differ on whether this could work, whether it's demeaning, etc. But Bloomberg has put it into play, so we may soon see.


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