One Delaware School District wants to use a portion of their Race To The Top monies to pay parents to come to certain school events.
Very bad idea.
New York City Mayor Bloomberg recently closed down an effort that including paying parents to do the same thing. New York City had started a heralded, and expensive, conditional cash transfer program heavily focused on school-related objectives. The program announced the results of an evaluation of the program in and it didn’t work, particularly for the school-related goals.
It doesn’t work to bribe students, and it won’t work to bribe parents.
How is the district going to handle it when some parents get the money and others do not?
How about using that money to hire someone to work with parents to see if they want to develop a parent-directed Parent University.
Or maybe use it to bring in the Parent Teacher Home Visit Project and use those resources to provide stipends so teachers can out to visit parents.
I hope the District comes to its senses.
Everyone looking to understand motivation should read Dan Pink’s book “Drive.” He offers convincing evidence that paying people some small amount of money to do something like this will do one of two things: produce lower turnout (some people will rightly feel insulted, demotivated by a transaction for something that should otherwise occur due to mutual interest), or if turnout increases, people will still actually be less interested in the topic itself.