Tying Students' Test Scores to Pay: Burden or Opportunity for Teachers?
But two years ago, spurred by a national program that offered cash incentives and other support for students and teachers, Mr.
One in four earned the top score possible, link outpacing their counterparts worldwide.
South High students said Mr.
Nystrom and his colleagues had should students get cash bonuses for good test scores the culture of a tough urban school, making it cool for boys with low-slung jeans who idolize rappers like Lil Wayne to take the hardest classes.
They were helped by the National Math and Science Initiative, a nonprofit network that provided laboratory equipment and special should students get cash bonuses for good test scores for teachers and organized afternoon tutoring and Saturday sessions.
Because 43 of his students passed the exam this year, far above his target, Mr.
Advertisement Organizers of the initiative, who met with to money free and staff members at a Congressional briefing last month, said that over three years, the program led to nearly 38,000 A.
This year, 308 schools in six states are participating.
Fryer, a Harvard economist who won a MacArthur Foundation award last month for his research on educational incentives, said that cash alone did not consistently raise achievement, but that combining payments with tutoring, teacher training and other tactics could be promising.
Brian Leonard, who teaches A.
Photo Kristopher Santana has taken Advanced Placement statistics, English and biology at his high school in Worcester, Mass.
Credit Evan McGlinn for The New York Times Three years ago, Lake Hamilton High had nine A.
Eighty-five percent of its 1,220 students this year were poor enough to qualify for the federal lunch program.
Like many schools, South had previously let students take A.
In 2009, the school began working with the math and science initiative, which requires that all barriers to A.
But the school began urging students during announcements to sign up for A.
Nystrom had his own recruitment program.
Credit Evan McGlinn for The New York Times Forty-six students enrolled in Mr.
Of the 46 students, 22 earned qualifying scores on exams in May 2010.
Last fall, enrollment surged to 61 students.
Forty-three of those passed the exam, and 15, or 25 percent, got the top score.
Thirty-one low-income students from Mr.
Advertisement and persistence may be one reason for his success.
In his first-period class the other day, Mr.
Nystrom outlined the meaning of basic vocabulary words in statistics — sample, parameter, inference — and then went over nuances.
Using an overhead projector, he drew a contingency table relating the relative preferences of males and females for hip hop, country and indie rock music, then used the table to explain marginal distribution.
Some students struggled to understand the table, and he explained it again — until Ashley Tran, a 15-year-old should students get cash bonuses for good test scores, interrupted.
Kristopher Santana, 17, a senior whose mother is a customer service representative at a tool company, was among those who scored a 5 in May.
He said the 18 hours of Saturday classes organized by the initiative, and Mr.
Statistics test in May.
It was 143,000 — not 18,000, should students get cash bonuses for good test scores was the number of test-takers who earned a 5, the highest score.
The article also misstated the percentage of students worldwide who scored a 5 on that test.
It is about 13 percent, not 15 percent.
A version of this article appears in print on October 3, 2011, on Page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Incentives for Advanced Work Let Pupils and Teachers Cash In.
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