Saturday, January 19, 2008

Tying Cash Awards to AP-Exam Scores Seen as Paying Off

I must say when I noticed the title of this article, I was shocked. The idea seems a little "out-there", but I try to pride myself in being open-minded. Please provide your feedback and thoughts.


Is there anything wrong with receiving $500 for a test score? What if that inducement seems to help pull up SAT scores and college-enrollment rates among disadvantaged students?

A recent study by C. Kirabo Jackson, a professor of labor economics at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., answers neither of those questions. But as money-for-achievement programs grow in New York City and elsewhere, the research pours new fuel on the debate over whether remuneration works in education and what the trade-offs are.

Published last month on the Cornell Higher Education Research Institute’s Web site, the study found that when students and teachers in disadvantaged Texas public schools were offered up to $500 for each passing Advanced Placement score, AP participation and scores rose.

Read more HERE.


Anonymous said...

My kids do their chores with more zeal when they are paid for them. If improved test scores is our goal, and paying improves them, what are we waiting for? What is wrong with a reward for a job well done be it taking out the trash or taking a test?

Anonymous said...

What about giving students a percentage of the exam fee based on score?

For example a 5 gets a students 100% of the exam fee. A 4 would get them 75%, a 3 50%.

LegalBeaglette said...

This may be a case of “where cultures collide.”

In this home, children are not, and were not, and would not be paid for performing chores. As a family, we all have responsibilities, and the focus of it all was “the right thing to do” – not getting paid to do it. “Doing chores” – over the course of time it takes to raise a family – involves so much. It involves a sense of caring, support, acknowledgement, need. Not to mention cooperation. The very idea of paying a child/young adult to do chores runs counter to every tenet of child-rearing this family, and our family’s families, hold.

I’m wondering, too, where this money would come from. The College Board and local programs already fully fund AP exam fees for students on the federal lunch program, and others students (depending upon the school) pay for only one of their exams, no matter how many they take. The financial support for students on the federal lunch program would not go away, but would the financial support for the others be re-worked to accommodate the expense of this reward program?

Would any of you who support this expect that it would be implemented in all the county’s schools, or just the “disadvantaged” ones? A program for all of the students, or only the students in “disadvantaged” schools, or only for students on the federal lunch program? What – in your opinion – should determine the “disadvantaged” school? AYP performance? Percentage of students on the federal lunch program?

Jennifer said...

Anonymous #2,
Your suggestion would be an incentive for the parents but I don't think necessarily for the students. The parents are the ones generally paying for the test.

Jennifer said...

Some high schools pay for one test and then help the students fill oout paperwork for a fee waiver for their remaining tests. In other words some students NEVER have to pay the fees so a further discount or waiver would be advantageous in my opinion.

However, I'm not completely closing the door on this idea. I know my children don't get paid for their chores, certain things are expected. On the other hand, a little extra incentive might not hurt in the case of AP scores. What if...this is a big what if...local businesses would donate gift cards for students receiving a 5 on their exams?

Anonymous said...

In Charles County the student pays for the first exam, the system pays for every exam after that. The other thing is that if parents see that their children can earn a percentage of the fee back they may also pay closer attention to how mucheffort the student is making to prepare for the exams.