Sunday, September 07, 2008

Education Prizes for Teachers and Students

Teach Engineering Premier Curriculum Award for K-12 Engineering – Deadline Oct 15, 2008 - Oregon NASA Space Grant Consortium

From the Teach Engineering Award site: The winner receives a plaque or trophy; a $1,000 cash award; recognition at ASEE, NSTA or ITEA conferences; recognition on the TeachEngineering and Engineering Pathway digital library websites; and $1,500 towards registration, travel and accommodations to attend one annual U.S. STEM education conference (ASEE, NSTA, ITEA) within a year of receiving the award.

Get Good Grades, Win Cash and Prizes - Pajamas Media - Here are some related links:

Greenbacks for Grades: Schools Use Material Rewards as Incentive - - This gives both sides of the discussion, and describes the type of changes that would need to be made at the same time such an award system is put in place.

Cash for Test Scores - The impact of the Texas Advanced Placement Incentive Program - The Hoover Institution - C. Kirabo Jackson - The AP program worked out well for me; I was able to graduate from college a semester early (even though I remember going to a lot of parties and playing basketball most afternoons after school in my AP high school years, not all *that* much homework). Early graduation allowed me to try a semester of grad school and led to my first graduate degree, which in turn led to much of the rest I've done since then. As a result, it's interesting to see what kinds of things are happening with AP now. From the paper:

According to my assessment, the incentives produce meaningful increases in participation in the AP program and improvements in other critical education outcomes. Establishment of APIP results in a 30 percent increase in the number of students scoring above 1100 on the SAT or above 24 on the ACT, and an 8 percent increase in the number of students at a high school who enroll in a college or university in Texas. My evidence suggests that these outcomes are likely the result of stronger encouragement from teachers and guidance counselors to enroll in AP courses, better information provided to students, and changes in teacher and peer norms. The program is not associated with improved high school graduation rates or increases in the number of students taking college entrance exams, suggesting that the APIP improves the outcomes of high-achieving students rather than those students who may not have graduated from high school or even applied to college. Nonetheless, APIP may be an exceptionally good investment. The average per-student cost of the program, between $100 and $300, is very small relative to reasonable estimates of the lifetime benefits of attending and succeeding in college.

Note that the program doesn't just give students rewards for good AP test results; it also gives incentives to AP teachers, and involves an AP class preparation effort before the AP grades (usually grades 11-12).

Advanced Placement Incentive Program Grants - U.S. Department of Education

Advanced Placement Strategies
Advanced Placement Strategies Incentive Programs