[The DOE is] launching a new program this fall that will pay low-income families for, among other things, attending parent-teacher conferences ($25), getting a library card ($50) and graduating high school ($200 to the student, $200 to the parent)...Parents of elementary school students in the program will get $300 and middle-school parents will get $350 in incentives if their child scores at proficiency or demonstrates improvement on each of the state standardized tests. High school students will get $600 for each Regents exam they pass.
Paying parents to become more involved in their child's education can be a good thing, but the incentive behind paying students to do well on standardized tests may prove fatal. This will create tensions between those students being paid and those not. Furthermore, a student that tries to earn the money but barely misses the cut off score to earn the money will only become frustrated and give up. It is a quick fix to get students into the schools and try to do well on standardized tests, but the consequences are numerous and risks too great in implementing such a program.