What if your school decided to give you cold hard cash in exchange for doing well in tests? Think you would work harder to improve your scores? That's the experiment being conducted by a number of schools in Virginia Beach and so far, the results have been quite encouraging.
However, before you get your hopes up, the incentive is not being offered to kids in every grade - Only high school students who are motivated enough to enroll for Advanced Placement (AP) courses and, take the tests.
Also, not everyone who takes the test is eligible for the cash - Only students with a score of 3 and above (maximum is 5), the level at which they are exempt from taking the course in college, are rewarded. And while $100USD seems like a lot of money, most of it is used for paying to take the exams. The students usually end up netting about $20USD per test.
The funding for this program, which is being tested in about a dozen high schools, has been obtained from The National Math and Science Initiative, a public-private partnership set up to encourage high-school students to take up more challenging courses.
While this is a rather unusual way of encouraging students to step up to the challenge, it seems to be working. Salem High School, which is participating in the program, is experiencing a substantial increase in the number of students enrolling in AP courses. The teachers are also quite pleased - For not only are they receiving additional training, but also, funding in a lump sum rather than piecemeal, enabling them to acquire the class materials all at one time. Sounds like a win-win for everyone. Do you think paying students to study is a good idea? Let us know, by adding your comments below.
Resources: odditycentral.com, wavy.com