Cash for test scores

At a high-poverty school in Southern California, middle-school students who ace the algebra final get cold cash, reports CBS News.

The student scoring highest on a final algebra test will get $250, while the person who finishes 15th gets $25. It’s called “Algebra Palooza.”

An attorney turned education reformer came up with the idea and the money. Test scores are up in algebra and he’s expanding to history and English.

Via School Me.

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  1. I suppose if you can’t give the teachers a monetary incentive then the only ones left to try to spur on with filthy lucre are the kids.

    Seems to me that paying the pros for trying harder is the more efficient and effective way to improve performance but the political situation is what it is.

  2. I don’t think that this is that bad of an idea. Essentially, the lawyer is filling the role of an engaged parent. Most people learn to work hard in school through positive reinforcement from parents – in the form of praise, benefits like staying up late, and even money. I was often able to negotiate a few bucks out of my parents for my performance on finals.
    Many of these students grow up without this positive reinforcement due to absent, distracted, or uncaring parents. While crude, the lawyer is doing what those parents should have been doing. Hopefully, the students will eventually internalize the motivation to succeed.

  3. If someone was handing out money when I was in highschool, I wouldn’t have needed a student loan or needed to work with perverts at McDonalds.