Saturday, August 08, 2009

Dollars and incentives

So I'm getting my thoughts together for this World History class I'm teaching. Last night I talked with a veteran teacher who taught AP Euro for many years, then World History for his last few before retirement. In his district, there were cash incentives for the school, then for the teachers if kids passed the exam, and since he was particularly successful, he benefited from the policy.

Today I read about a program targeting minority students in New York that rewards students for passing AP exams:
The program awarded a total of $825,000 this year. A student from Flushing High School in Queens earned $3,250 for passing four tests.
It's something to ponder, and you have to wonder about the unintended incentives and disincentives created in these systems.

Unfortunately, it's purely a mind experiment for me this year. Due to our budget, my students will have to be motivated by the love of learning and/or the ambition to earn some college credit.

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