In Think Like a Freak, we touch briefly on paying schoolkids for good grades — which, much of the time, isn’t successful. This inspired a note from a reader named Gary Crowley, who describes himself as “an economics major in college many years ago”:
Loved Think Like a Freak.
One thought: Why don’t we trying paying parents for kids getting good grades??? If the parents are motivated to make money, from someone else’s hard work, then they’ll make the kids work harder and want them to stay in school. I think paying the kids doesn’t take advantage of the leverage of a parent over their child. Just a thought.
As a child in the feudal system of a blue-collar Irish-Catholic East Coast family, my Dad took great pride in and took the credit for his beautiful lawn. This would be the same lawn that his children did all the work on. Haha. Don’t see why it wouldn’t work for grades. And I’m sure the parents would be just as proud, even if they’re getting paid.
Gary’s note may also be referring to a brief passage in Think about the parents of schoolkids:
[M]aybe, when we talk about why American kids aren’t doing so well, we should be talking less about schools and more about parents.
In our society, if someone wants to be a hairstylist or a kickboxer or a hunting guide—or a schoolteacher—he or she must be trained and licensed by a state agency. No such requirement is necessary for parenthood. Anyone with a set of reproductive organs is free to create a child, no questions asked, and raise them as they see fit, so long as there are no visible bruises—and then turn that child over to the school system so the teachers can work their magic. Maybe we are asking too much of the schools and too little of our parents and kids?