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Guest Thinkers

Should schools be paying students and parents?

Cities across the country are paying students (and, sometimes, parents) for academic success, meeting attendance, and so on. See, for example, Des Moines, Washington, D.C., New York, Chicago, Baltimore, and Atlanta.

In response, Alfie Kohn asks:

When are educators going to work with children and their parents to create the kind of learning environments that will be naturally engaging to kids instead of doing things to make them jump through hoops for a prize?

This just seems wrongheaded to me. But then I think the learning process should be an engaging one, as Kohn advocates, not one that you literally have to entice students to suffer through.

Is this just a sign that the current system is broken? Or is it a logical response to the troubles that these kids, families, and districts are facing?


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