Cash Incentives Fuel Higher Scores

The National Math and Science Initiative awards participating students $100 when they score a passing grade of 3 or higher on an Advanced Placement® exam.  It also awards teachers $100 for each student who earns the passing grade.  More than 1800 teachers participated in the program last year, and more than half of those earned bonuses exceeding $2,000.  A Harvard economists, Roland Fryer, has said that while cash incentives are important, they are not solely responsible for the good test scores–tutoring, teacher training, and support programs also are key.

Cash or other tangible incentives may be a way to make rewards seem more immediate and closer to students.  Parents would like to think that the reward of admission to a good college or a high paying job in the future would be reward enough, but perhaps that’s too long term for students to get motivated.

Read the full article at the New York Times:

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