Bribing Students to Get Good Grades

Greg Toppo, writer for USATODAY provides a report about how many public schools around the USA are bribing their students with cash incentives to get good grades. As his article title so succinctly puts it, Good Grades Pay Off Literally. This topic has been discussed occasionally in the children’s ministry circles. Granted, I am not aware of any churches who give cash rewards to children for memorizing. Or do they? Do store bucks with fake money to win real prizes count? A recent article was written by Larry Shallenberger in the July/August, 2007 edition of Children’s Ministry Magazine. The article is appropriately entitled, “Stickers & Candies & Stars—Oh My!”

Personally, I don’t mind occasionally offering incentives to children. I have never been one to make it a regular weekly practice, however. We have seasons where we will have a quarter-long build up of winning points for a store night. What about you? Any current thoughts on the topic?

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2 responses to “Bribing Students to Get Good Grades

  1. Thank you for all the good ideas for children’s education. I do have an opinion on the monetary incentive for good grades. I think it is a double whammy against children who just can’t get winning grades. I know that when I was in school (ahem) a long time ago, my family moved a LOT and I very often had morning sickness (due to a nutritional problem). I was absent a lot, not to mention the stress of starting in multiple schools each year–very hard on achieving winning grades. I had no hope of high enough grades to go to college let alone the hope of college itself.
    Isn’t encouragement and support more valuable than money? Aren’t money incentives teaching our children to be even more competitive than society has already made them. And how about self centered-ness? Aren’t we supposed to teach our children to center on Jesus, the Holy Spirit and the Word of God? That is the greater reward in the long run.

  2. Hi Mary. I am so glad you stopped by. Thank you for your thoughts on this topic! I sure hope to hear from you again soon!

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