Saturday, August 23, 2008

D.C. To Pay Middle School Students For Attendance, Behavior

POSTED: 7:32 pm EDT August 21, 2008
UPDATED: 11:13 pm EDT August 21, 2008

WASHINGTON -- D.C. will pay middle school students for attendance and behavior in an effort to get them to focus on school.

The city plans to spend about $3 million on the pilot program. The money will go to about 3,000 students in the sixth, seventh and eighth grades.

D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee said it's during middle school when many students either learn the value of education or start down the road toward failing or dropping out.

"The middle school years are incredibly important," Rhee said. "We believe that this is the time for a radical intervention."

The pay-for-performance program will reward up to $100 every two weeks for attending classes, behaving well and achieving other goals.

"If this proposal and partnership seems a little bit outside of the box, it is," said D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty.

Half of the city's 6,000 middle school students at 28 schools will be chosen for the program that will be run in part by a local bank and Harvard University.

The idea is not new. It's been practiced at different levels in many states.

Hardy Middle School Principal Patrick Pope said that some families with the means routinely reward students. Pope and Rhee said D.C. is just leveling the playing field for families that don't have those means.

"They have a lot of incentives to do the wrong thing outside of school, and what we need to do is counterbalance that," Rhee said.

1 comment:

Hall Monitor said...

This story made! Check it out for all the crazy headlines in education.