Maryland schools are demonstrating early successes with a new program that rewards students for good behavior, instead of just penalizing students for bad behavior. Combined with a computerized database to track how different rewards plans are working and training in using the computer system, teachers across the state are getting valuable information about how to improve student attention and discipline.

The rewards systems vary from school to school. They may include opportunities for extra arts-and-crafts time, or having the principal sit with the students at lunchtime. In some classrooms, students repeat motivational statements daily about...

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