Cash Incentives for Academic Excellence - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-09-2007, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
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Cash Incentives for Academic Excellence

Let's just take a break from personal attacks and flaming and seriously consider below; having a 4-yr old starting kindergarten next September, education issues are a looming concern for me.

Group to Offer AP Exam Extra Credit: $250

Passing Scores on College-Level Test at Some Schools Would Bring Bonuses for Students and Teachers


By Jay Mathews
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, March 9, 2007; Page B02

The Advanced Placement program has long offered college credit to high school students who show mastery of a subject. Now, a group of educators and business executives plans to dangle another incentive in front of AP students and teachers in selected schools across the country: $250 for each passing score on science, English and math tests.
The offer, to be formally announced today by a group with $125 million in funding from the ExxonMobil Foundation, is stoking debate over the wisdom of cash bonuses for achievement.

more at
washingtonpost.com - nation, world, technology and Washington area news and headlines



While offering an incentive for students to excel in academic is admirable, I question the wisdom of dispensing cash.

Rewarding academic achievement with cash is nothing new - there have been scholarships and grants that help with tuition and various expenses associated with learning. Also, the pinnacle of academic achievement, the Nobel Prize, is a generous amount of cash in addition to the medal (that which costs about $4000 in materials but incalculable in its value). But cash associated with scholarship and the Nobel Prize are byproducts of the award itself - the former has more to do with aiding a motivated but financially unendowed scholar pursue further studies and for the latter the true reward is the recognition of one's achievement and its contribution to the society.

So motivating the students by dangling dollar sign in front of them much like the proverbial carrot seems to me like further validation of increasingly material-oriented society. Instead of promoting the love of learning and encouraging intellectual discovery, such cash incentives will only place the focus of students on test scores and test taking skills. In fact, education has become more of a selection process based on test scores and GPAs, and the resulting measure of success increasingly determined by material rewards such as annual income and one's possessions.

Hermann Hesse in his 'Siddartha' defined wisdom and knowledge, with wisdom reigning supreme.

I seriously doubt a cash incentive will allow students to ever attain the kind of wisdom that transcends short-term material gains. In fact, what is most discouraging to me is that the sponsors of the prize - seasoned adults - do not see beyond just increasing the number of students with passing AP test scores. btw thanks for reading until the end - hope it was worth the read and provided you with something to think about - I believe the purposefully dense text of the post probably turned off those who have nothing useful to contribute...




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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-09-2007, 05:23 PM
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Good or bad? And for who?

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-09-2007, 05:32 PM
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Unnecessary. I was offered AP courses in HS and took all that were offered. I can't imagine anyone declining the opportunity, so see no need to offer cash. The opportunity is an honor in itself, and college credit is more than enough incentive.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-09-2007, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by GermanStar
Unnecessary. I was offered AP courses in HS and took all that were offered. I can't imagine anyone declining the opportunity, so see no need to offer cash. The opportunity is an honor in itself, and college credit is more than enough incentive.
Exactly. I would never turn down an AP course if I were offered one. Depending on the situation, whoever turns it down maybe shouldn't have been offered it in the first place! IMHO.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-10-2007, 10:22 AM Thread Starter
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dammit, I hate it when when the link gets altered - I think I had the same thing happen when I posted something from Washington Post.

Here's the link to the Post article (cut and paste on your browser):

washingtonpost.com - nation, world, technology and Washington area news and headlines

or if the above link does the same thing, look it up on google under the following:

Group to Offer AP Exam Extra Credit: $250 - washingtonpost.com


*edit* fuck, those slimy beltway fuckers sure know how to screw people - the link pulled the same shit again on me.

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