A Maryland middle school is under fire for throwing a dance and pizza party for only the smartest students, while more than 300 kids were left out. It begs the question: does this help or hurt lower achieving students?

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During a Fox and Friends debate, psychologist Dr. Susan Lipkins said this type of reward system undermines anti-bully programs.

“It is divisive. It makes kids feel like they’re excluded, and it’s sort of like a country club that only accepts the smart kids,” she said.

Dr. Charles Williams, a psychologist at Drexel University, argued that rewarding achievement is beneficial. “The science says that it’s one way to ensure that students will perform and achieve when you set the bar high.”

It also goes back to the ‘everyone gets a trophy’ debate. Dr. Williams said, “Although the Seattle Seahawks won, should we have given the Denver Broncos a Super Bowl trophy too? […] It’s also our job to prepare kids for life and the reality of life, and the reality of life is simple: you are rewarded for hard work.”

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