Lately, more and more schools have begun considering a ‘pay-for-performance’ method, where kids are rewarded for high test scores. Basically, if a student scores well on a test, then both that student and the teacher will receive some sort of cash reward.
Students in AP classes will receive more of an award because they are taking a harder class. Apparently, this has already created a 60% increase in the enrollment in some AP classes.
The idea is that by providing a direct incentive like money, kids will be more motivated to take tests more seriously and to push themselves to take a harder class.
As with the school uniforms debate, this is a controversial issue as well. Many believe that the money could be better used elsewhere: to reduce classroom sizes, to provide better learning materials, and so forth.
Currently, seven states take part in it: Arkansas, Alabama, Connecticut, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Texas, and Virginia, with plans to expand.
From a student’s point of view, I can definitely see this being nice. I took fairly advanced classes without having money to motivate me, but I might have taken one or two more if I would have received something for it. And, of course, being paid for ones I was already taking would have been cool too.