How can society get kids to do better in school? By paying them according to what grades they get:
An overwhelming number of schools participating in a controversial program that pays kids for good grades saw huge boosts — up to nearly 40 percentage points higher — in reading and math scores this year, a Post analysis found.
About two-thirds of the 59 high-poverty schools in the Sparks program — which pays seventh-graders up to $500 and fourth-graders as much as $250 for their performance on a total of 10 assessments — improved their scores since last year’s state tests by margins above the citywide average.
The gains at some schools approached 40 percentage points.
Critics argue that paying kids corrupts the notion of learning for education’s sake alone.
If these schemes work, they’re a good idea. (Of course, the tests that grade students must be resistant to cheating — so they can only pass the tests and get the money if they’ve really learnt stuff).