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Cash-Incentive Research Update

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It seems like lately every week there's been something new about cash-incentive programs, and this week is no exception. Debra Viadero's follow-up story about a three-year-old rewards program in Coshocton, Ohio reveals that their cash incentives have worked--sort of. Scores in math have improved, but reading scores have stayed the same. Test scores in science and social studies have also improved, although not significantly. Because of the mixed results, it seems like educators on both sides of this debate are using the study's results to support their position.

Also, I was a little surprised to see that an overwhelming majority (81%) of responders to last week's edweek.org poll did not think schools should offer cash rewards to students. Only 43 out of the poll's total 230 responders thought schools should offer cash incentives. And just a reminder: the poll is an informal feature and not a scientifically sound survey, but it's interesting nonetheless.

1 Comment

Money is an effective motivator in the short term. At first, it makes you work harder. Later, you think that you deserve what you are being given and nothing less.

Using money alone to motivate students sounds like an awful idea. I believe there should be a more comprehensive system in place, with money being a possible, but not the primary option.

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