TAKS Rewards Good Or Bad For Students In The Long Run? - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

2/20/08- Troup, New Summerfield

TAKS Rewards Good Or Bad For Students In The Long Run?

"To give such amazing rewards like the Ipods and that sort of thing, maybe that's over-emphasizing the TAKS test," said licensed specialist in school psychology Nancy Nichols.

While agreeing the "TAKS returns", as they're called, are a good idea, Nichols said they may do just as much damage, taking away those old-fashioned values of hard work and self-satisfaction.

"We should take a look at what we're teaching our students in terms of the intrinsic joy of learning."

But career counselor Pam Rodriguez at John Tyler High School disagrees.

"I think they look at it as just an added plus if I put forth the effort."

New Summerfield just approved a program where students get $20 coupons for each section of TAKS they pass. At Troup, elementary students are given a gift up to $100 if they score a high A on their TAKS. Extra incentives that Rodriguez believes is simply another form of inspiration.

"Just an overall stance of accomplishing, something that they mastered what it is the state expects from them," said Rodriguez.  "It increases their self-esteem."

"There has certainly been more and more of an emphasis on maybe buying off kids, and this seems to move in that direction," said Nichols. 

Mixed opinions on whether the rewards are too great for such young students. Ultimately parents will need to draw the line.

TEA told us rewarding students is not a violation of policy. It would only violate policies if those students who failed the test were identified.

Courtney Lane, Reporting  clane@kltv.com

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