Cash Fails the Grade

, Deborah Lambert, Leave a comment

If you think a couple of hundred bucks might motivate young students to hit the books, you might be in for a big surprise.

It appears that “Spark,” a much-touted program in the New York City public school system that paid as much as $500 a year to fourth and seventh graders who aced math and reading exams, did nothing to boost students’ standardized test scores, according to the New York Post.

In fact, “providing incentives for achievement test scores has no effect on any form of achievement we can measure,” said Harvard economist Roland Fryer, whose recent report showed that despite awards of up to $500 to seventh graders, their study habits and test scores didn’t budge.

Deborah Lambert writes the Squeaky Chalk column for Accuracy in Academia.