Sunday, June 10, 2007

Nothing wrong with it, says mayor, of kids scoring dough for grades

Picture: F. Roberts for News

Mayor Bloomberg defended a controversial proposal to pay kids for high test scores yesterday, but said there are no specific plans to make it happen.

"As one of the new approaches to try to tackle the intractable problem of poverty, we have said that we would raise ... $50 million privately to encourage people, using economic incentives," Bloomberg said. Money for test scores is "one of the possibilities."

The Daily News reported exclusively yesterday on a plan to pay fourth-graders as much as $25 and seventh-graders as much as $50 for high scores on so-called interim assessments, which, beginning in September, will be administered in all city schools. The tests will help teachers determine what kids know and what they still need to learn.

The mayor's Opportunity NYC plan also would give poor families cash rewards for actions like taking their kids to doctors' appointments and attending job training.

The test-score proposal, which education officials say is preliminary and has not yet been approved by the mayor or Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, would be structured differently, with the money going to schools that would then pay it out to kids.

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