Cash for Grades?

Is it all right to reward students with cash? Over the years the issue of whether or not it is a profitable action to give monetary rewards to children for good grades has been raised. I know parents who give set amounts for As, Bs, etc. Others object, saying, learning should be its own reward, while some embrace the stance that whatever it takes to get a child educated should be done.

I believe in my earlier years, I leaned toward no money rewards, then became ambivalent, and now think there is little problem with passing out cash rewards for hard work in school.

The New York City School system has developed a large program of such rewards. Is that a good idea? Do you have an opinion?

Annie Tritt for The New York Times

Ruth Lopez gives her student Abigail Ortega a certificate showing her earnings from test scores.

The fourth graders squirmed in their seats, waiting for their prizes. In a few minutes, they would learn how much money they had earned for their scores on recent reading and math exams. Some would receive nearly $50 for acing the standardized tests, a small fortune for many at this school, P.S. 188 on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

When the rewards were handed out, Jazmin Roman was eager to celebrate her $39.72. She whispered to her friend Abigail Ortega, “How much did you get?” Abigail mouthed a barely audible answer: $36.87. Edgar Berlanga pumped his fist in the air to celebrate his $34.50.

The remainder of the article is here.

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My devotional blog is here. 

4 thoughts on “Cash for Grades?

  1. When my niece was young, she would stay with us quite frequently. I’d ask her to do chores and earn money and she’d say NO, because her dad would buy her whatever she wanted. She also was an incredibly poor speller, and would take no help whatsoever.

    Money bribes didn’t help with her grades, either.

    Now, at age 17, she begs for chores to earn money because Mom and Dad finally stopped buying her toys without doing some work first.

    And I’m sitting here, praising God, because for some reason she is really into school as of this year, and she’s gotten no lower than 1 C per each report card. It’s amazing and to her now, the GRADE is the goal and she’s doing it for herself.

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  2. Mom had a point. My dad & she would give us children cash rewards for performing chores. Sometimes though, after performing the chores, we’d stand with our hands open EXPECTING this kind of a reward for EVERYTHING. There needs to be a limit on rewards (which I see they did at this NY school) and an understanding that sometimes rewards are NOT monetary. I was thrilled when ONCE I got all “Es” in grade school (Later, of course, the Es were changed to As.) Having accomplished A GOAL was enough for me even as a small child.

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