Thursday, June 19, 2008

Schools experiment with paying kids

June 13, 2008 - 7:25am
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - Friday is payday at KIPP DC: KEY Academy, and some sixth-grade girls gather at the makeshift school store trying to decide how to spend their hard-earned money.

They received paychecks for behaving well, doing their homework or making academic gains. The money is pretend. But it can be used at the store for genuine items such as pens capped with fluffy feathers, pencil cases shaped like animals and colorful erasers.

Schools, under pressure to boost student achievement, are offering incentives _ field trips and cash, for example _ to motivate students.

At KEY Academy, a public charter school serving low-income, minority students in the nation's capital, Cherise Johnson Wallace proudly clutched a pencil case she bought at the school store. She was glad to have the trinket, but even happier about what it represented.

"It shows how I work very hard to earn good grades," she said, flashing a smile as she rattled off the A's she had earned.

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