Students in Cash-Incentives Study Score Higher in Math
More than three years ago, schools in the small central Ohio city of Coshocton launched an experiment to pay elementary students for passing or scoring high on state exams. The results from that experiment suggest that in some respects, little Coshocton’s big gamble paid off.
The findings, unveiled at a school board meeting this month, show that the prospect of getting as much as $100 at the end of the year was enough to motivate 3rd through 6th graders to improve their mathematics scores on state exams. The cash incentives had no impact on reading scores, though, and led to small—but not significant—gains in science and social studies.
On the other hand, the motivational boost in math may not have had much staying power: When students were eligible to vie for cash awards one year but not the next, the learning gains were smaller...
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