Students who earn good grades at bad Texas high schools could earn cash from the state.
Under Deshotel's plan, schools rated academically unacceptable would be selected through a lottery to participate in the program. Freshmen at those poor-performing schools could then earn $50 for each A, $35 for each B and $20 for each C in core classes of English, math, science or social studies.
Students would be paid half of their earned money at the end of each grading period and the other half at graduation -- a move undoubtedly designed at boosting the state's graduation rate.
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Deshotel said the dropout rate "is unacceptably high in Texas." He adds that if the cash rewards help to lower that rate, the Legislature could look at expanding the program. It remains to be seen if the program ever plans to pay students at higher-performing schools for earning the same grades as their peers in lower-performing schools.
Funding for Deshotel's program would come from the $6 million for education the state is expected to get from President Barack Obama's stimulus package.
Texas is not unique in this idea. Other pay-for-grades programs are in place in Chicago; Baltimore; New York; Tucson, Ariz.; and Washington, D.C.