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

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%.

Presented by

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

The 86-Year-Old Farmer Who Won't Quit

A filmmaker returns to his hometown to profile his neighbor, the patriarch of a 70-acre family farm

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

The 86-Year-Old Farmer Who Won't Quit

A filmmaker returns to his hometown to profile the patriarch of a family farm

Video

Riding Unicycles in a Cave

"If you fall down and break your leg, there's no way out."

Video

Carrot: A Pitch-Perfect Satire of Tech

"It's not just a vegetable. It's what a vegetable should be."

Video

An Ingenious 360-Degree Time-Lapse

Watch the world become a cartoonishly small playground

Video

The Benefits of Living Alone on a Mountain

"You really have to love solitary time by yourself."

More in Business

Just In