Back in May, I had promised to keep readers up to speed on any developments in the Wisconsin Covenant program, which plans to offer guaranteed college placement and financial aid to high school students in the state who maintain B averages.
Well, here’s the latest: Almost 10,000 ninth graders in the state have signed a pledge that promises them a route to a college in Wisconsin if they meet certain goals, according to a recent Associated Press story.
That number seems like a first step toward determining how effective such external motivators can be. But it’s also worth noting there are 75,000 ninth graders in the state, meaning only a fraction signed the pledge. That raises the question: Why would they choose not to sign up?
There are also issues that still need to be resolved, as the Associated Press story points out. For starters, the covenant remains a proposal by Gov. Jim Doyle that has yet to get legislative approval. And it’s still not clear how the governor plans to pay for the program, especially if its popularity grows.
Stay tuned for future updates.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Motivation Matters blog.