It boggles the mind that the public education industry has come to this — and, warning! you might need a flowchart to keep up with this seven paragraph blog post at Chron.com’s School Zone:
Roland Fryer, the Harvard University economics professor who is consulting with the Houston Independent School District on the Apollo school reform program, won a coveted $500,000 “genius grant,” according to an announcement today.
The no-strings-attached grant, awarded to 22 recipients in all this year, comes from the Chicago-based John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The award is based on Fryer’s body of work and is not tied to the 34-year-old’s consulting and research gig with HISD, which started last school year. But the foundation noted Fryer’s other research into public education, including the impact of paying students to improve performance.
Whew! That’s pure genius — paying kids to do well in school. Don’t miss the rest of the blog post and the comments.
I don’t know what the answer is for HISD, but sure hope Fryer can come through with whatever he sold Superintendent Grier, because if he doesn’t, it’s the kids who lose. The experts and the well-placed bureaucrats always do very well for themselves. That’s how these things work. And doesn’t it seem as though every time we turn around, there’s a NEW educational expert with some NEW idea about how to elevate student performance? Bribery doesn’t seem like a long-term, winning strategy.