I'm sure this subject has been brought up before but since I haven't seen it.... I saw a documentary last night called "Freakonomics" which discussed a myriad of topics but one of them was giving students financial incentives for earning passing grades. I believe that the students were given $50 a month and entered into a school lottery with the chance to win $500 a month plus a limo ride home if they met eligibility requirements. Their eligibility requirements were no "full day" detentions for the month and an average grade of at least a C. The results were not very impressive. There was only a very small improvement of overall grades during the program. I found myself torn because $50 a month per child is a whole lot less than other programs that could be put in place to improve student performance so if it worked, maybe it was worth it. But the idea of having to bribe kids to get "C" grades disgusts me. They profiled one 9th grade boy who was completely apathetic about school. The idea of the financial incentive appealed to him but, in the end, it wasn't enough to get him to change his lifestyle habits of socializing, skateboarding, and being the "class clown." They showed his mother telling the boy that she would be willing to match the $50 incentive if he earned it but I couldn't help thinking "Why doesn't she take away the cell phone, the video games, and the skateboard and make him earn those?" Is this what we've come to in our society that the only way to make kids see the importance of good grades is to give them cash? If cash is the answer then I think we should bypass the kids and give the money to the parents. Maybe if the parents would earn 50 bucks a month if their kids actually do their schoolwork, we might see some results. I'm curious what you think? I just hate the precedent it sets: the only reason to do well in school is to earn dollars. It just seems so wrong.