As reported, Chicago is running a pilot program that will pay students for grades.  Even earning a C results in a payment of $20.

I think this is one of the worst Ideas I’ve ever heard.  It instills in children the idea that they should be paid to go to school and study hard, instead of doing so to advance their career and life prospects.  I was never paid for grades – not in high school, not as an undergraduate, and not as a law student.  Instead, it was impressed upon me that I *must* do well in school, to the point where such goals became a part me.  That is how to motivate children, not with a few bucks.

I would also note that the top performing schools in Illinois and other states do not pay their student, as no such payment is necssary or desireable.  Instead, they stress parental involvement, along with a safe and well funded learning environment.   Perhaps Chicago Public Schools should take notice of these facts, and try to emulate the suburban school districts which generally have much more successful students.