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Education The Almighty Buck Technology The 2000 Beanies

Arkansas Will Pay Up To $1,000 Cash To Kids Who Pass AP Computer Science A Exam 105

theodp writes: The State of Arkansas will be handing out cash to high school students who pass an Advanced Placement test in computer science. "The purpose of the incentive program is to increase the number of qualifying scores (3, 4, or 5) on Advanced Placement Computer Science A exams," explained a press release for the Arkansas Advanced Placement Computer Science A Incentive Program (only 87 Arkansas public school students passed the AP CS A exam in 2016, according to College Board data). Gov. Asa Hutchinson added, "The Arkansas Department of Education's incentive for high scores on the AP Computer Science A exam is a terrific way to reward our students for their hard work in school. The real payoff for their hard work, of course, is when they show their excellent transcripts to potential employers who offer good salaries for their skills." The tiered monetary awards call for public school students receiving a top score of 5 on the AP CS A exam to receive $1,000, with another $250 going to their schools. Scores of 4 will earn students $750 and schools $150, while a score of 3 will result in a $250 payday for students and $50 for their schools. The program evokes memories of the College Board's Google-funded AP STEM Access program, which rewarded AP STEM teachers with a $100 DonorsChoose.org gift card for each student who received a 3, 4, or 5 on an AP exam. DonorsChoose.org credits were also offered later by tech-bankrolled Code.org and Google to teachers who got their students coding.
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Arkansas Will Pay Up To $1,000 Cash To Kids Who Pass AP Computer Science A Exam

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Translation we want our kids to move to California.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by PopeRatzo ( 965947 )

      Translation we want our kids to move to California.

      I can't imagine there's anyone living in Arkansas that doesn't want to move to California.

      • I've been to Arkansas a few times, and I've been to California a lot (not just SF or the valley, but all over the state).

        Although neither would be my first choice, I would pick Arkansas over California.

        If people really wanted to leave Arkansas for some kind of backwater state, they would...

        • I would pick Arkansas over California.

          The cost of living is way better, but I don't see any other attraction. When I moved to California, I assumed I would never again be able to hunt razorbacks (wild hogs), but it turns out that they are surprisingly common in California. They come down from the hills above San Jose to tear up my neighbors' yards. I just leave some rotten apples on the ground, and hide in a tree with my crossbow and a night vision scope.

          Wild turkeys and possums are also way more common in California than anyplace I lived ba

          • The cost of living is way better

            Is there any other attraction? I mean really.

            • by ncc74656 ( 45571 ) *

              The cost of living is way better

              Is there any other attraction? I mean really.

              The absence of Californians, perhaps?

              OTOH, Arkansas did foist the Clintons on us...

          • How's the cost of living better in Arkansas if you can get way more roadkill in Cali?

            Spoiled brat, I bet you want that fancy meat from some posh Costco, amirite?

        • I have to admit... while I'd kill myself if I lived in Arkansas, it was one of my favorites to visit. It's actually a truly beautiful place.... the people... if you can find an interpreter are some of the nicest people I've ever met.

          What I don't like about Arkansas is the overwhelming displays of what seems to be an epidemic of poverty. With the exception of Mississippi and New Mexico, I never felt like I was so completely surrounded by the impoverished.

          But still... if you get past the whole "wow this place
      • Have you ever been to California? I mean seriously... California is where we put "those people". We don't want kids passing AP exams in computer science to go to California when they can amount to something in life.

        Let's see. California.
        - No water
        - Earthquakes
        - Forest fires
        - Pineapple on bread with sauce and cheese which they have the audacity to call pizza.
        - Silicon Valley people... in other words "new money" which is absolutely horrifying. I'd rather watch bestiality porn with my grandmother... it's actua
        • Have you ever been to California? I mean seriously.

          I just moved to the Central Coast. It's heaven on Earth. There's surfing, the weather is always wonderful and it's absolutely beautiful. I have ten beaches within a 5 minute drive or pleasant bike ride. I can get the best fish tacos on the planet and the girls wear really short shorts here. Cheap and delicious fresh fruit and produce. In a half-hour, I'm going up a mountain behind my house so that I can watch the Orionids meteor shower.

          I've been from o

        • Hawaiian Pizza... is Canadian.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Alternative translation:

      Please, [multinational tech firm]. Please build yourselves a fancy office park or data center here. We have those geeky kids you love so much, we promise! And our cost of living is so low you won't even have to pay them that much. We'll even let you keep some of those billions of dollars you have lying around in our basements!

      • The CS AP class is a way for high school students to place out of a freshman year computer science class - nothing more.

        I guess flooding the state with thousands of college freshmen that can program âoeHello, World!â In Python or Scratch is worth more than providing a similar incentive for any of the real sciences like chemistry, physics, math, etc.

  • or.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by zlives ( 2009072 ) on Friday October 20, 2017 @05:47PM (#55406739)

    you could just fucking pay the teachers to teach and not pass a fucking test.

    • Re:or.... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rmdingler ( 1955220 ) on Friday October 20, 2017 @07:01PM (#55407017) Journal

      Wouldn't it be great if we lived in a society that valued teachers above all professions, or shite, at least above coaches? The best of the best would teach the next generation, and it would be an honor to do so.

      We're not as advanced as we like to believe, as evidenced by how earlier, more primitive societies valued healers high enough within their social hierarchies that it was unnecessary to gouge the patients for the life-saving treatments they administered.

      Maybe, we just have our priorities all assed up...

      • Maybe, we just have our priorities all assed up...

        Do you know who it is that insists we view teachers as interchangeable cogs, refusing to allow incentive or merit pay structures?

        The teachers unions.

        The teachers unions fight against merit pay, performance bonuses, or other mechanisms that might help schools to identify not only teachers that excel in their fields, but might also point out those that are failing to teach/inspire their students.

        Iâ(TM)ve lived in a school district where the kindergarten teachers, because of time in job, earned over $85K/

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      Look at part of the USA that have invested a lot in "teachers", "students", "computers", "text books", "new computers", "robot kits"..."more computers"...
      All that spending per state, city, student per decade would have been expected to have produced generations of the very computer ready "average" students.
      Then another generation of results get published and governments, charities, foundations move in with more grants, funding to try and fix education again.
      Every year and decade better results are expec
      • You're speaking about two different types of paths :

        What you mention the US having done right in1950-1980 with math education is creating computer scientist :
        student with a strong core knowledge in hard sciences (e.g.: maths, as you mention), that then went on in academics with computer as their main scientific domain.
        This is what gives you the big brains behind some of the top computing revolutions.

        What the current spreading of resources on as many student as possible, over an entire generation, is trying

        • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
          Re "work with computers is becoming as important as being able to read and write"
          The UK tried that in the 1980's with efforts like the BBC Micro https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]
          Trying to put expensive computers in front on generations of very average students.
          Did the UK become a computing exporting super power?
          The average students who wanted "computers" enjoyed using and supporting brands like Apple, Intel, Microsoft, Cyrix and the later more powerful console games.
          All that effort and educational fun
          • Again, I think you didn't follow my point above.

            That's two entirely different phenomenons.

            Trying to put expensive computers in front on generations of very average students.
            Did the UK become a computing exporting super power?
            The average students who wanted "computers" enjoyed using and supporting brands like Apple, Intel, Microsoft, Cyrix and the later more powerful console games.

            Putting computers in front of a generation of students won't suddenly make a country a "computing exporting super power".
            On the other hand, putting computers in front of a generation of students will make them more comfortable to *use* computers.

            To take your preceding post's example : if one of those student decides to become a musician, he's more likely to use software to do their edits in a garage band as opposed to

    • being a teacher is fucking hard work. I know teachers and they put in 10-12 hour days. Those lesson plans don't write themselves. Even if your handed one you need to adapt it to the realities of your class. And those papers don't grade themselves. And summers off? Bullshit. The higher up teachers are busy getting more education and certs to try and get a raise so they can keep pace with inflation. The lower tier ones are working jobs over the summer to make ends meet. There's a few bums that take summers of
      • Teachers get paid to get certs, they are paid to create/Update lesson plans during the summer, they are paid for most after school activities, and they get full medical, job security via tenure, and retirement benefits the people paying for them canâ(TM)t get.

        In many states, entry-level teaching jobs pay at or above the state average FAMILY income. Teacherâ(TM)s donâ(TM)t have it nearly as hard as they like to pretend they do.

        Do you know what a first-year teacher in your school district is pa

        • I'd really like to know where any of that is true.
          • If you're an IT worker living in a good neighborhood with good property values (read: your schools are fully funded by property tax) then yeah, some of this might not be true. Your kid's Teachers have assistants to grade papers. Their class sizes are under 30 and like one of the thread parents said they'll get paid to get certs (meaning they can do them in the summer instead of working to make ends meet).

            That's maybe 20% of districts if I'm being really, really fucking charitable. The rest are everythin
        • Teachera(TM)s dona(TM)t have it nearly as hard as they like to pretend they do.

          You can't logic away the facts that getting and retaining good teachers is a real problem and that the US school level education system is not very good by first world standards.

        • Just because some people are worse off doesn't make their lot in life any better. The fact that teachers make more than the median (this is what you mean) family income show just how bad things have gotten for the working class.
    • Or toss the tests and actually have courses that are useful to kids. Things like personal finance (balancing a checkbook), civics/government, actual sex ed (where more than abstinence is taught), how to deal with police and not wind up in juvi or adult prison, and so on. Stuff that actually matters in life, especially because for most students, high school is it for education... so might as well make it a way for someone to enter a trade and get a meaningful, skilled job, as opposed to graduating to nothi

  • by Anonymous Coward

    for both students, and schools. #wcpgw

    • for both students, and schools. #wcpgw

      The tests need to be proctored by someone unaffiliated with the school receiving the incentives. The tests are kept secured until passed out, so about the only way for a student to cheat is if they can communicate with another student or with someone outside the testing room. Internet connected devices are banned, but the proctor needs to enforce that.

  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Friday October 20, 2017 @06:05PM (#55406805)
    bring back the jobs and us parents will bring back our kids. End the H1-B program for a start and we'll talk. Until then all my kids are going into medical. Not that they're not trying to bring in cheap labor there too, but the Doctor's Union (aka the AMA, yes, it's a Union) knows better than too allow too much of that crap.
    • I cannot understand anything you wrote. You are from Alabama? You take your children to the doctor? You don't like people from India?

      • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Friday October 20, 2017 @08:52PM (#55407481)
        Cheap tech workers brought here on H1-B visas are massively driving down wages in the tech sector. Yes, they're mostly Indian, but it would be the same thing if they were Chinese, African, or whatever nationality. They're only supposed to be brought here for jobs there are no Americans for, but I've seen numerous companies post adverts for H1-Bs specifically.

        Given this trend I discouraged my kid from studying IT and encouraged them to go into medicine. This is a better route for them because the medical industry has a workers advocacy group (The American Medical Association) that functions as a Union and lobbies for policies that help keep their wages high.

        Now, if my kid was a natural mathematical genius this wouldn't be an issue. But then my kid wouldn't really be going into IT, it'd really be a Math job that happens to use computers as tools to do the math. But that's a moot point. My kid isn't a math wiz and would have had to work really, really hard to make it in IT. So I encourage my kid to put that effort into something that's going to be more stable and pay better in the long run.

        I've never understood why it is that when the rich do things in their economic best interests it's smart business but if the working class do it they're being petty, racists or nationalistic. I mean, I know why it happens (ruling elite own the media and they're pushing an anti-worker, pro-corporate right wing agenda) but I don't know why the working class falls for it so much. My grandpappy knew when he was getting screwed by his boss and he and his Union didn't take that shit.
        • the working class falls for it because, well, religion. its the main force in mind control and sadly, it seems to work.

          those in power generally 'love' religion, because it does their work for them. it keeps the 99% in their place and promises that if they don't rise up against the 1% now, that they'll get a nice place in heaven, later on. suffer now (while we win) and you'll 'win' later.

          its mass mind control and most people seem to believe this. this allows them to be so completely controlled, they are

          • Why do you think gods were invented? Mostly because a few thousand years ago, CCTV wasn't really advanced enough, so they invented supernatural ones.

  • A thousand dollars is enough money to cover one year of textbooks at a college.
    • by mark-t ( 151149 )
      I imagine that would depend on the program. In computer science, for instance, that might cover textbook costs for one semester, but it definitely wouldn't cover an entire year.
  • the schools will pushed to cheat to get more funds

  • Did anyone involved in this from the Arkansas side ever stop to ask the simple question -

    Why?

  • ...when the man wants to round up everybody who understands enough about computers to circumvent mechanisms designed to prevent all forms of social change. Good move.

  • A) Live in Arkansas?
    B) Be 18 our younger?

    Cuz I could sure use a grand right before the holidaze.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Well, the students in Arkansas who can pass this exam will be well-prepared to proudly train their H1-B replacements in the not too distant future.

    We can’t employ the CS professionals we have in the field today. If nothing is done to clamp down on guest worker visas, this effort by Arkansas is nothing more than a waste of taxpayer dollars.

  • It sounds to me like kids who were already interested in computing are going to pocket the cash, but additional kids who would have been on the fence are unlikely to just show up and pass the exam. Instead, I think research has shown you have to incentivise the work. Like pay kids to turn in their programming homework. Then you will find them all passing the exams with ease.

    The plan as stated in TFS would only work on students who knew exactly how to plan for their education and work appropriately toward a

  • If Wisconsin is willing to pay subsidies of $10,000+ per year to employ old factory workers, Arkansas should pony up on the order of $100k each to educate these kids -- whose future and value with such skills is way more than someone who assembles pieces of things on an assembly line.
  • It's "An Exam" not "A Exam".
    It's "An Incentive" not "A Incentive"

  • Government paid you to study.

    55 roubles per month if you are A and B student in college. 72 roubles per month if straight A student.

    At that time the salary of a junior stuff acientist was 120 roubles per month.

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