Milton Friedman School for Tots

I blogged earlier on Roland Fryer’s experiment in paying children for grades.  A school near Detroit is taking the idea even further.


How do Beverly Elementary third-graders earn their paychecks? David
Snyder’s paycheck for the three school days before Thanksgiving looked
like this:

†¢ Spelling test — $2

†¢ Math warm-ups — $5

†¢ Idea with writing piece — $3

†¢ Class work — $3

†¢ Homework — $5

Being paid for schoolwork is part of the third-grade curriculum at
Beverly Elementary, in the Birmingham school district. Students earn
"Beverly Bucks" for homework, tests and class work, with a bonus thrown
in for good quality.

At the end of the week, they can take a paycheck home for endorsement.
Then the student can cash the check for Beverly Bucks and shop in the
class store….

The paycheck curriculum is part economics, part math and a very big part incentive.

"Their work has really improved," Knoper said. "When I come to work, I
get paid for it. We’ve really just likened it to the real world."

That’s cool but what I really like is this:

After the Christmas break, Knoper said the paycheck curriculum will be
ramped up a notch when the kids start paying taxes on the hallways (a
form of road tax) and playgrounds.

and the teachers even understand Beckerian efficiency conditions for crime.

Students can lose money, too.

"If I accidentally hit somebody, I have to lose $4 or $5," said Shane Holmes, 8, suggesting that losing that much money was horrifying.

I don’t suppose my children’s Montessori school will go for this. 

Thanks to Ted Craig for the pointer.


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