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ERIC Number: ED519279
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-May
Pages: 109
Abstractor: ERIC
Learning Together: How Families Responded to Education Incentives in New York City's Conditional Cash Transfer Program
Greenberg, David; Dechausay, Nadine; Fraker, Carolyn
In 2007, New York City's Center for Economic Opportunity launched Opportunity NYC-Family Rewards, an experimental, privately funded, conditional cash transfer (CCT) program to help families break the cycle of poverty. Family Rewards provided payments to low-income families in six of the city's poorest communities for achieving specific goals related to health, education, and employment. The demonstration program ended as planned in August 2010, although its evaluation is ongoing. This qualitative report focuses on Family Rewards' educational incentives and the variety of ways that parents and children interacted with each other in relation to these incentives. Unlike other educational incentives programs across the country, Family Rewards relied heavily on parents to explain the program to younger children and to find ways of supporting their children's learning in school. While parents received incentives for their younger children's activities in Family Rewards, high school students received incentives directly and so were more directly exposed to the program. Key findings include: (1) Most parents and children embraced the broad goals of Family Rewards, viewing the program as an "opportunity" for children and an investment in their academic future; (2) Not all parents knew how to help improve their children's educational performance beyond offering general encouragement; (3) Many parents were reluctant to discuss the incentives with younger children, who had only a limited knowledge of the program as a result. High school students were much better informed; and (4) Family Rewards payments helped strengthen some better-prepared high school students' belief that they were "on track" to graduation, college, and a better future, which reinforced their motivation. MDRC will continue to track participants and will present longer-term findings to help clarify the success of the initiative in encouraging educational, health, and employment outcomes. Family Rewards Activity List is appended. Individual chapters contain footnotes. (Contains 6 tables, 3 figures, and 7 boxes.) [For the executive summary, see ED519281.]
MDRC. 16 East 34th Street 19th Floor, New York, NY 10016-4326. Tel: 212-532-3200; Fax: 212-684-0832; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education; High Schools; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Rockefeller Foundation; Open Society Institute; Robin Hood Foundation; Annie E. Casey Foundation; John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; New York Community Trust; Bloomberg Philanthropies; Starr Foundation; Tiger Foundation; American International Group, Inc. (AIG)
Authoring Institution: MDRC
Identifiers - Location: New York