ERIC Number: ED325558
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Incentives for Learning: Why American High School Students Compare So Poorly to Their Counterparts Overseas. Working Paper #89-09.
Bishop, John H.
The key to high school student motivation is recognizing and rewarding academic effort. Compared to the United States, students in foreign countries study harder and their parents demand more of the schools because labor market success is determined by how much is learned in high school. Schools in the United States, however, reward students for time spent in school, but offer few benefits for students who study hard. This failure to reward academic achievement is the result of the following phenomena: (1) the labor market fails to reward effort and achievement; (2) college admission is based on relative measures, such as Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores and class rank and grade point average (GPA); (3) classmates actively discourage academic effort that would result in an upward shift of the grading curve; and (4) parents do not demand higher standards that would place students at risk of not graduating, but would not improve SAT scores or GPAs. The following reforms are suggested: (1) institute statewide achievement tests; (2) establish new graduation credentials; (3) expand the Advanced Placement Program; (4) replace the SAT; (5) modernize the cognitive content of the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB); (6) encourage employers to use high school grades and a spectrum of achievement tests for hiring; (7) require all applicants for civil service positions to submit school and college transcripts; (8) base admission to the armed forces on competence in science and technical subjects; (9) extend school operations; (10) require students who are experiencing academic difficulty to attend remedial programs; and (11) institute cooperative learning strategies. Statistical data are presented in one table and seven graphs. A 63-item bibliography is appended. (FMW)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Department of Labor, Washington, DC. Commission on Workforce Quality and Labor Market Efficiency.
Authoring Institution: State Univ. of New York, Ithaca. School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell Univ.