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The magazine, Education Week, has a thought-provoking piece in its fall issue saying that cash incentives for teachers and students given out for each passing score earned on an Advanced Placement (AP) exam has been shown to increase the percentage of high ACT and SAT scores earned by the students.

In addition, the program increases the number of students enrolling in college, according to new research by Cornell University economist Kirabo Jackson.

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The incentives have the biggest impact on African American and Hispanic students, boosting participation in AP courses and exams.

The program is successful among largely poor and minority students in Texas public schools. The researcher reports that there is a 22 percent average increase in the number of students scoring above 1100 on the SAT or above 24 on the ACT. The increase rises each year the student is in the program. There was an 8 percent increase in the number of students who enroll in a college or university in Texas from those schools that participated in the cash incentive program.

This raises a lot of questions about what motivates students and teachers and whether it is proper to pay students to do better in school. For more information on the research check out Education Next at hoover.org.

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