Would an award accompanied by a nice banner be an incentive for students and teachers at your school to improve the test scores?

That’s the plan being proposed here in Virginia.

To spur improvement in academic performance, Virginia plans to honor excellence with an award for what the state calls “VIP schools.”

The new Virginia Index of Performance program, debuting in the fall, will rate 1,839 public schools and 132 school systems with points for test scores and other factors. Top scorers will be eligible for a Governor’s VIP Award for Educational Excellence.

The rankings will be made based on a point system largely based on the spring standardized test scores but also including some other factors that the state already collects.

At this point, there’s no money or other stuff to accompany the prize, other than the inescapable speeches by state politicians, of course.

However, as much as high schools around here go nuts over the fallacious number spit out from Jay Mathews “challenge” index, this scheme just might work.

And it’s cheap.