Paying students to study: If it works, why not?

Many parents have tried to inspire their children to work harder in school by offering cash bonuses for good grades. Now some school systems are testing the same strategy by paying children as early as fourth grade for their scholastic accomplishments.

A Harvard experiment in New York pays cash for good test scores, and expects to hand out $1 million in paychecks to grade-schoolers this year, according to an AP report. Another NYC project will reward students with free cell phones. In Coshocton, Ohio, 3rd through 6th grade students were offered up to $100 to improve their state exams. The program seemed to move the needle on math scores, not so much in other areas.

Other schools pay for attendance, for books read, homework completion, behavior, and class participation.