Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Linking Teacher Pay to Test Scores?

Study: N.Y. teacher performance pay program flops...

From the Washington Post:
Just the other day we heard that a program in Chicago that attempted to link teacher pay with student standardized test scores wasn’t working, at least not in the first two years.
A 2009 analysis of a major program in Texas that also linked teacher pay to student achievement gains on tests showed no evidence of success. The multi-year Texas Educator Excellence Grant involved teachers at about 1,000 campuses, with a total of more than 140,000 students in lower-income neighborhoods. It was discontinued because of “design problems.”
Now, a paper prepared by two Columbia University researchers for a recent education conference at Harvard University said that the New York City Bonus Program, which attempts to raise student achievement by paying teachers for it, was -- you guessed -- also unsuccessful.

Performance pay linked to test scores creates incentives for teachers to essentially do the wrong thing: Obsess on teaching kids how to do well on the tests -- in math and reading -- while giving short shrift to other vital subjects. So even if this scheme were to "work," it wouldn't really be working.



1 comment:

Tyler Tuveson said...

Hi, Dr. Baggett! You really have been posting a lot! Yay for you!

This research seems so crazy! I wonder why they keep trying the same thing over and over again if it's obviously not working. Like the article said, even if it does work, it won't be beneficial to our students in the long run because they are only learning to pass tests. I feel really sad and angry for these teachers that are having to be the guinea pigs for this research.

I understand that the goal of this is to encourage teachers to work harder and to reward teachers who do work hard at teaching but this is just not the answer.

I think if teachers were interested in money in the first place, they wouldn't have chosen teaching as a profession. So why try to, essentially, bribe them with their own salaries?