(NewsNation) — Exacerbated by widespread school closures and remote instruction, pandemic-era learning loss has had devastating consequences for American students. In some cases, students are more than a year behind where they should be, and those in high-poverty districts are even worse off than most.
As districts respond to the challenges brought on by learning loss, one possible approach would be to offer financial incentives to students in order to boost their motivation.
That’s an idea proposed by Roland Freyer, who is the John A. Paulson Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a professor of economics at Harvard University, in a recent op-ed. Freyer has spent much of his life conducting research on the American educational system, and one intervention he tested years ago may be relevant to tackling pandemic-era learning loss.
Freyer ran experiments funded by private donations in multiple cities in which students were offered small cash payments in exchange for improving certain academic-related behavio