Paying for grades sends the wrong message to students. Knowledge is a worthwhile reward and so is the feeling of positive self-esteem one receives through hard work and dedication.
Practically speaking, if money was the only motivator for doing the job well, there certainly would be fewer teachers, nurses and journalists. In most cases, those professions are not financially rewarded, but still make valuable contributions to society.
At Buena Park High School, we make every attempt to reward the student through recognition--academic and athletic--and through award ceremonies, such as Student of the Month. In addition, rewards from the private sector in the form of scholarships and other awards are excellent ideas to generate student motivation.
If the teacher is doing his, or her, job, then success in academics should come from the students' desire and the need to do well for themselves and not for money.