While grade inflation has been an issue for a long time, paying for grades maybe the nail in the coffin of real academia.According to a Chicago Tribune article published on Sept. 11, a Harvard-designed test will go into effect in Chicago public schools. Students who earn an “A” can earn $50, a “B” earns $35 and a “C” earns $20. Apparently, learning something for the sake of bettering yourself is out the window.Public schools, particularly in urban areas, are a mess. None of the editorial board are studying education. Therefore, we have little background, except what we remember from third grade. However, we don’t think that giving kids money for good grades is necessarily the best way to instill the proper pursuit of knowledge in them. No Child Left Behind has crippled the school system. Chaining teachers to a prescribed curriculum which relates to a test, on the results of which, their funding is based. Yet another way that money was attached to grades, basically, and how poorly that has turned out.We think that this system is going to cause cheating and plagiarism to skyrocket. If a student can make $50 for an “A,” it is fiscally beneficial to pay some other kid $30 to do your homework. We suppose it works out well for the smart kids – they make money from their grades and from the kids who want money for grades.Kids are never going to learn integrity if it is not expected of them. In this model, kids are just expected to do well, period. Rather than teaching them hard work is its own reward, we are teaching them that grades = money, which translates to education = money. Education can help one do better financially, but it is not a means to an end. Education should not only be a way to become a productive contributor to the economy, but to become a productive citizen. Maybe we are just jealous because the only things we got for good grades were a pat on the head or a piece of candy from the teacher’s desk.