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Cash Incentives for AP Test Performance

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Lately, it seems like every month or so another school district starts an incentive program in which cash is offered for student academic achievement.

The latest news is from the New York City schools, which plans to expand the use of a cash-reward program. Thanks to donations by philanthropists, the district will start a program this school year to offer cash incentives for students who do well on Advanced Placement exams, according to this New York Times story.

The district had just started its own program to pay some students in the fourth and seventh grades for getting good scores on several standardized tests.

But are such cash-incentive programs truly a good investment, especially in the long run? If you have had a similar program in your district, how effective has it been in raising student motivation?

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Our organization, a college and career readiness program for middle and HS students, has been experimenting with student incentives for several years. We have written a brief article with our initial findings, as well as some recommendations for schools and organizations considering the use of incentives. Here's the link to the article:

http://www.roadstosuccess.org/On%20Incentives%20and%20Education,%20final.pdf

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