Las Vegas-area schools offer cash to students who test

By: AP
By: AP

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Some Las Vegas-area high schools will be
offering incentives, including cash awards, to students who show up
for required standardized tests, school officials said.
"Money seems to motivate them," Randi Friedman-Macosko,
assistant principal of Basic High School, told the Las Vegas Sun in
Saturday editions. Basic will have drawings for $10 bills for
students who take the Nevada High School Proficiency Exam later
this month.
Student turnout for the March 27 test will help determine each
high school's academic ranking in the eyes of the state and federal
government.
Schools that don't have at least a 95 percent participation rate
are judged not to have made "adequate yearly progress." Schools
that repeatedly fail to meet that threshold face sanctions,
including intervention by the state Education Department and
possible replacement of key personnel.
Students have several opportunities to take the test during
their high school career, so some tend to put it off.
"For their benefit, they should take the test every time they
get an opportunity until they pass," said Sue Daellenbach, testing
director for the School District. "Some of them need a little
convincing."
To get student in seats the day of the test some schools are
dangling promises of cash awards, raffle prizes and pizza parties
to those who show up.
Last year, attendance at Rancho High School for the reading and
writing proficiency tests reached 94.22 percent - a few students
shy of making the mark. This year, the hallways are being lined
with banners, and the prize list includes gift certificates and the
latest electronics must-haves, donated by local businesses.
"In a perfect world we wouldn't have to do any incentives,"
said Richard Carranza of Eldorado High School, which is promising
students gift certificates and a celebration assembly in exchange
for attendance on exam day. "What we're dealing with is the
reality."


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