Should Students Get Paid for Good Grades?

Although being paid for grades is a subjective topic, many teachers and other education experts argue against rewarding students for grades or behaviors. Research regarding pay-for-grade programs proves that the idea does not provide enough positive results to support its widespread use.

Education researcher and speaker Alfie Kohn insists that students should be motivated by internal factors rather than external rewards. Many parents akin paying for grades to a form of bribery. Teachers who argue against paying for grades say that it increases the already high pressures of the classroom. Conflicts arise between parents and teachers when students fail to earn high marks and do not bring home the cash promised for a higher grade. Researchers have discovered that the money awarded to students for earning top marks is usually more helpful when spent on providing additional teacher training or reducing the size of classrooms.

The main argument that proponents have for utilizing pay-for-grade systems is that the rewards help motivate students to perform in schools that are already failing. Proponents are in the minority. As of 2014, only 25 percent of Americans are in favor of paying students for their grades. Those against pay-for-grade systems argue that the schools themselves require adjustments rather than student rewards.