School Principal Rewards Good Test Scores with Cash

The principal of Baker Elementary School allegedly gave money to students who scored high on quizzes, according to an email written by a teacher


There’s controversy brewing at a San Diego elementary school over an alleged cash reward given to certain students for earning good grades.

Some teachers at Baker Elementary School in Mountain View are upset because they claim their school’s principal is rewarding students with one-dollar bills for getting 100 percent on quizzes.

Those teachers believe the cash reward system is undermining their work.

In a lengthy email from a teacher at Baker Elementary – who declined to comment on camera for fear of retribution -- the principal’s alleged actions are referred to as “disrespectful” and “highly unethical.”

The teacher’s email said at least 10 students have been given money by the principal.

The email also outlined eight concerns with the dollar bill handouts claiming, in part, that it opens students up to the idea of “cheating” for financial gain.

The news has stunned and even upset some parents.

“I don’t think it’s fair. I don’t think it’s right. They should be rewarding every student that scores well,” said parent Samantha Villagrana.

“That’s like bribing the children to get a decent score on the test. That shouldn't happen in any school or anywhere else,” added parent Craig Smith.

The teacher’s email included a response from Baker Elementary School's principal Armando Farias, who declined an interview with NBC 7 San Diego.

In that letter, Farias called his actions an “inside joke” with students and said it wasn’t his intention to disrespect anyone, but rather an effort to motivate students.

But the so-called “rewards” for good grades at Baker Elementary might not end there.

One parent told NBC 7 San Diego that her son was once given a toy at school for doing well on a reading assignment.

For parent Andrea Brown, the toy reward seems innocent enough but she’s still not on board with the idea of a cash reward for students.

“I wouldn't feel comfortable with the money at all, only a toy would be a good idea,” said Brown.

Again, Principal Farias, through his secretary, had no comment on this issue and referred NBC 7 San Diego to the school district. The district also declined to comment.

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