A new $44 million educational research effort is beginning. The premise behind the new Educational Innovation Laboratory is that educational programs have not been subjected to enough rigorous testing. This, I agree with. However, given the need for large research projects on fundamental educational issues (as implied by the need for this new laboratory to begin with) the fact that they're planning to begin by studying incentive programs like paying students for good test grades is absurd. How about starting with some actual fundamental educational issues like, say, teacher pay? And if the money is only going to be used to study whether students learn better if they're given more cell phone hours when they get good grades, please just forgo the research and give the money directly to the schools - there's already plenty of research showing that will actually make a difference.