There are incentives such as snacks, 'magic' candy bars, parties, colored pencils, rubber bracelets and other items with the purpose of tricking, er... I mean motivating, students to study and feel confident (and basically, not throw up).
So the intermediate Gatsby is, as it turns out, not Gatsby at all -- it's something 67-pages long that panders to possessors of feeble vocabularies, probably the types of kids who vomit before standardized tests.
The scores for the writing portion of this year's FCAT (Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test) plummeted so precipitously that the abilities of the Sunshine State's student writers aren't being called into question, the very validity of those scoring statistics are.
The answers to improving education have to be holistic, and local. President Obama's good intentions of setting a tone unfortunately will not translate into more success until we deal with the whole puzzle.