The "Economy" of Success


Token Economy is much more than dollars. It is an economic system that is used to teach our Pathways' Academy students about the important relationship between hard-work and getting paid, the importance of saving for the things that have lasting value, and how their own character will be a significant factor in their ability to get the best employment opportunities in the future.

We call them “Token Economy Dollars” because our monetary system is based on dollars and we want the experience to be as real as possible. A student could earn as much as $4,000 in a school calendar (average is half that amount), assuming a limited number of deductions. We used to given each student a check every week, with tax deductions, but we found it became too cumbersome to manage. Now we provide monthly awards base on visible evidence of student performance and citizenship.

Stocking the school store with items of value to the students is key to the effectiveness of the program. When the store has low priced items in it that are easily consume, student will spend what little money they have on this low-hanging fruit. When there are high-value items available student will save their dollars to make a wiser spending decision. Items like a bicycle ($3,000 TE), $50-Game Stop Card ($600 TE), or an Amazon Fire Tablet Computer ($1,000 TE).

Student are given TE dollars each month based on their citizenship, academic performance, and special awards by teachers. Student can also give their peers a peer grant for “Man of Honor” recognition. The biggest awards are given for citizenship. 

- Principal/Math Teacher Cedric Rice