Is it Appropriate to Bribe Your Students?


I’m not entirely critical of a school that has the money to incentivise academic improvement among their student population. After all, at least they’re trying.

But it really does seem rather desperate:


Brandon Allen is determined to make sure senioritis doesn’t hit during his last year at John Glenn High School in Westland. So he has signed a contract that will pay him $200 per semester if he substantially improves his grades.

“I heard that senioritis is a real thing. I figured that if I signed up for this program, it would keep me on track,” said Brandon of Westland.

About 400 students at the nearly 1,800-student school have signed such contracts, modeled after a smaller program at nearby Wayne Memorial High School. Both schools are in the Wayne-Westland Community Schools district.

The new program, called Champions of John Glenn, is funded primarily by a $50,000 donation from local businessman Glenn Shaw and his family. Shaw, who graduated from Wayne Memorial in 1961, lives in Canton, but Westland is still in his heart.

“I just love this community. … We just know kids are going to do so much better,” he said.

In addition to being able to earn $400 in a school year, the student with the highest percentage increase in his or her grade-point average will receive a one-year scholarship to the Wayne County Community College District or Schoolcraft College. Students already having a top grade of 4.0 can earn the money by setting different goals: organizing an event, taking a college entrance exam, reading a book or writing a paper.

Nearly all of the teachers at the school  — as well as other staff members such as custodians and the police liaison officer —  have signed on to become mentors. So has the district superintendent.

Some teachers have taken on entire classes of students.


Click on the link to read Keep Politics Out of the Classroom

Click on the link to read Tips for Teachers Preparing for the First Day of School

Click on the link to read Would You Ever Want to Visit Your Old High School?

Click on the link to read Middle School Student Bought Teacher Thong Underwear as a Gift by Accident


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One Response to “Is it Appropriate to Bribe Your Students?”

  1. Virginia Dreaming Says:

    Giving a student (or any person) a reward for accomplishing something is not desperate, nor is it a bribe. It is simply encouraging a behavior that we want to encourage. But you do have to look at the behavioral research. Constant rewards are not always the most effective way of promoting a behavior like studying. It is more effective to start with easy to achieve small rewards, and keep making the rewards larger, but harder to achieve. In other words, you design a program to make the behavior progressive.

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