Steven D. Levitt
11/13/2007 | 4:05 pm
From today’s Times: Mayor Bloomberg has approved a major facet of Roland Fryer‘s program for making learning “cool” for inner-city kids.
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Congrats to Roland Fryer! Anything to help the kids learn!
Sounds pretty cool. Keep us updated on whether it works…
Tutors are an old idea; mobile phones, an older one: “How to allure this biggest of all consumers, the State?”. In the end of the day, kids will get an impersonal text message ended with “Jay-Z” et al. I hope I’m wrong.
Giving the kids cash would be a reasonable and good idea.
Giving them cheap (or even free) cellphones is going to seem like a cheap corporate ploy to them not to mention the fact that many of these kids will already have cellphones. Our society is pretty cynical about products that get given away for free given all the advertising campaigns we see so if you want credibility you really need to give pure cash.
Ohh and don’t forget the public relations backlash that will happen when someone publishes a (statistically unrepresentitive) story about them being used for drug dealing.
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