New test score reward program

February 7, 2008 12:18:00 PM PST
The new, controversial program that gives some New York City students money for taking tests --- and scoring high --- is underway at about 60 schools. Eyewitness News education reporter Art McFarland takes us inside one of the few schools where high test scores and it could also mean extra dollars for their teachers, other staff members and their principal.

The seventh graders at p.s. 42 are preparing for a test that will score cash for correct answers.

"I think it give us positive impact on students," said student Breanna Cadett. "It keeps them interested and motivated to work."

This school is one of about 60 in the city that are part of Spark program which make seventh and eight graders eligible to get paid.

"I'm very inspired that I'm forth grade and get money just by taking the test," said student Alvin Bissoondutt.

Some students are already receiving checks of various amounts.

"I'm going to put my check in my bank account to save for college so I can get good education," said student Tashana James.

"Some students did go out and purchased games and toys for themselves," said Principal Riva Madden.

PS 42's maximum incentives will be 390,000 dollar combined 4th graders, 7th graders, UFT members and principal's incentive.

"I think money motivates anybody," said Principal Riva Madden.

Except principal's bonus, all the intensives are privately funded.