He's a Bank CEO (and He's in Middle School)

More

The Lab School of Finance and Technology doesn't sound like your typical middle school, and it isn't. It pays students for good behavior, and pays them even more to save their cash, rather than spend it immediately. How? By creating a middle school bank with middle school bank executives:

Students earn "school bucks" for exhibiting desired values: teamwork, compassion, relentlessness, scholarship and reflection. Students then use the bucks in the school store to buy products such as the popular "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" book (10 bucks), pocket folders (one buck) or flash drives (30 bucks). Donors provide most of the inventory.

Those who wish to save their bucks can put them into the student-run bank, earning 10% interest. Executives ... make 10 school bucks an hour, while the store's employees earn five.

And the grown-up approach to math and finance appears to be working:

The attention to business principles may be a contributor to the school's progress on math. In 2003, only 10% of the entering sixth-grade class was proficient in math, Mr. Gonzalez said; today that number is 80%.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Business

Just In