School leaders in the District of Columbia last week joined ranks with New York City, Baltimore, and other big-city districts that are experimenting with programs that pay cash to students for showing up at school and performing well. (“Promises of Money Meant to Heighten Student Motivation,” Feb. 13, 2008.)
Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee said the program—called Capital Gains—will start this fall as a pilot in 14 middle schools. Students will be eligible for as much as $100 every two weeks for their attendance, behavior, and academic performance. The program will be run in partnership with the American Inequality Lab at Harvard University, where economist Roland G. Fryer has developed other money-for-achievement programs, including those in New York.
A version of this article appeared in the August 27, 2008 edition of Education Week