Giving cash for grades (and doing homework, behaving and wearing a clean school uniform) is motivating some D.C. middle-school students to work harder in school, reports the Washington Post. But the Capital Gains program may work best for the best students.
Interviews with parents, educators and youths reveal that most students compare their earnings as soon as they’re handed out, excited by the financial reward. A few, in a show of apathy or rebellion, destroy checks intended to help them. And some walk home disappointed, envelopes closed.
Does it destroy the intrinsic love of learning? There are follow-up studies underway.
Flypaper wants ethics lessons so students won’t steal their classmates’ checks or tear them up in envy.
Direct deposit, used at some schools, might be more effective.