ERIC Number: ED336846
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
Using Incentives To Stimulate Improved School Performance; An Assessment of Alternative Approaches.
Picus, Lawrence O.
Policymakers view incentives as being more effective in ensuring local compliance with state reform goals than the mandates and sanctions used in the past. Also, voluntary compliance is seen as "morally superior" to coercion. This paper describes alternative incentive options available to policymakers and delineates the circumstances under which each would be effective in achieving state policy goals. Two general incentive categories are described: (1) incentives built into a state's education finance formula and designed on the basis of intergovernmental grant theory and (2) state financed incentives provided directly either to districts or to individual schools and designed to spur specific actions or outcomes. In the first section, traditional grant models are examined, and the expected effects of general and categorical grants on school district spending are described. Matching grants are also discussed. The second section analyzes specific state-financed incentive programs directed toward districts or individual schools. The third section summarizes findings and discusses implications for school finance policy. Although incentives were successful in increasing instructional spending, there is no clear evidence that related gains in student performance result. Rewarding outputs is generally more effective than rewarding inputs. (40 references) (MLH)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Carnegie Corp. of New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: N/A