Want a free pizza? How about movie tickets? Or cold hard cash? Many parents—as well as some schools and stores—offer students rewards for getting good grades on their report cards.
Some people say rewarding students gives kids a goal to work toward and a reason to study harder. Researchers at the University of Chicago found that elementary school students scored better on tests when they were promised a trophy.
But not everyone is ready to hand out prizes. Many educators say rewards send the message that grades are all that matter. They argue that hard work is also important to a student’s success. Plus, they say, these rewards aren’t fair to students who have improved their grades but still don’t get A’s.