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teacher performance pay doesn't work

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  • Leonie Haimson
    Just saw this earlier summary of Vanderbilt study of merit pay, that found it didn t work; US DOE disputes its relevance: The federal Education Department
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 1, 2010
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      Just saw this earlier summary of Vanderbilt study of merit pay, that found it didn’t work; US DOE disputes its relevance:

      The federal Education Department called the study too narrowly focused.

      “It only looked at the narrow question of whether more pay motivates teachers to try harder,” said spokeswoman Sandra Abrevaya. “What we are trying to do is change the culture of teaching by giving all educators the feedback they need to get better while rewarding and incentivizing the best to teach in high-need schools [and] hard-to-staff subjects.”

      And yet this is not performance pay – nor what they are funding through their federal incentive grant program.

      http://www.eschoolnews.com/2010/09/21/study-teacher-bonuses-failed-to-boost-test-scores/

      Study: Teacher bonuses failed to boost test scores

      Results raise new questions about the effectiveness of ‘merit pay’ as an education reform strategy

      From staff and wire reports

      Featured Superintendent's Center, Policy, Research, School Administration, Superintendent's Center, Top News, eClassroom News, school reform

      Sep 21st, 2010

      Please Log in to print the full article

      Email This Article Email This Article

      Students whose teachers were offered bonuses of up to $15,000 a year for improved test scores fared no better than those whose teachers were given no such incentives.

      Students whose teachers were offered bonuses of up to $15,000 a year for improved test scores fared no better than their peers.

      Offering big bonuses to teachers failed to raise students’ test scores in a three-year study released Sept. 21 that calls into question the Obama administration’s push for merit pay to improve education.

      The study, conducted in the metropolitan Nashville school system by Vanderbilt University ’s National Center on Performance Incentives, was described by the researchers as the nation’s first scientifically rigorous look at the effects of merit pay for teachers.

      It found that students whose teachers were offered bonuses of up to $15,000 a year for improved test scores registered the same gains on standardized exams as those whose teachers were given no such incentives.

      “I think most people agree today that the current way in which we compensate teachers is broken,” said Matthew Springer, executive director of the Vanderbilt center and lead researcher on the study. “But we don’t know what the better way is yet.”

      The study comes as the Obama administration is encouraging school systems to link teacher pay and tenure to how students perform on tests and other measures of achievement.

      The researchers looked at fifth- through eighth-grade math teachers from 2007 to 2009. A group of about 300 teachers started out in the study; half were eligible for the bonuses, the other half were not.

      The bonuses were given out based on improvements in scores on Tennessee ’s standardized exam, which is used by the state as part of the federal No Child Left Behind requirements.

      Springer was quick to point out that his study looked only at individual bonuses, not extra pay doled out to teams of teachers or an entire school. He said more research is needed before policy makers draw any definitive conclusions.

      “Some people were initially disappointed when they saw the results, but quickly turned around and said, ‘Well, at least we finally have an answer,’” he said. “It means pay can’t do it alone.”

      The federal Education Department called the study too narrowly focused.

      “It only looked at the narrow question of whether more pay motivates teachers to try harder,” said spokeswoman Sandra Abrevaya. “What we are trying to do is change the culture of teaching by giving all educators the feedback they need to get better while rewarding and incentivizing the best to teach in high-need schools [and] hard-to-staff subjects.”

      The American Federation of Teachers praised the study and argued that teachers need other resources, including better training and more supportive administrators.

      “Merit pay is not the panacea that some would like it to be. There are no quick fixes in education,” said union president Randi Weingarten. “Providing individual bonuses for teachers standing alone does not work.”

      Teachers unions have historically opposed merit pay, arguing that test scores are not an accurate measure of student achievement, that financial rewards could pit teachers against each other, and that administrators could use bonuses to reward favorites and punish others.

      Jennifer Conboy, a high school social studies teacher in Miami , called merit pay a “baseless fad.”

      “Merit pay is an excuse to resist the attempt of teachers to get fair pay in the first place,” the 37-year-old Conboy said. “On a personal level, merit pay would do nothing to me. I took this job because I think education is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and if I cared about democracy—which I do—then I had a responsibility to do whatever I could to strengthen education.”

      Only a few schools and districts across the country have merit pay, and in some states the idea is effectively illegal. The Obama administration hoped to encourage more states to pass merit pay laws with its $4.35 billion “Race to the Top” grant competition.

       

       

      Leonie Haimson
      Executive Director
      Class Size Matters
      124 Waverly Pl.
      New York , NY 10011
      212-674-7320
      classsizematters@...
      www.classsizematters.org

      http://nycpublicschoolparents.blogspot.com

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/leonie-haimson

       

      Follow me on twitter @leoniehaimson

       

      Make a tax-deductible contribution to Class Size Matters now!

      Subscribe to Class Size Matters news by emailing classsizematters-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

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    • Diane Ravitch
      But the purpose of the Vanderbilt study was to see if big bonuses would raise test scores The answer was no The study was not designed to answer unasked
      Message 2 of 2 , Dec 1, 2010
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        But the purpose of the Vanderbilt study was to see if big bonuses would raise test scores

        The answer was no

        The study was not designed to answer unasked questions

        But the day after the study was released, the DOE handed out $442 million for merit pay


        Diane

         
        Sent from my iPhone

        On Dec 1, 2010, at 10:45 AM, "Leonie Haimson" <leonie@...> wrote:

         

        Just saw this earlier summary of Vanderbilt study of merit pay, that found it didn’t work; US DOE disputes its relevance:

        The federal Education Department called the study too narrowly focused.

        “It only looked at the narrow question of whether more pay motivates teachers to try harder,” said spokeswoman Sandra Abrevaya. “What we are trying to do is change the culture of teaching by giving all educators the feedback they need to get better while rewarding and incentivizing the best to teach in high-need schools [and] hard-to-staff subjects.”

        And yet this is not performance pay – nor what they are funding through their federal incentive grant program.

        http://www.eschoolnews.com/2010/09/21/study-teacher-bonuses-failed-to-boost-test-scores/

        Study: Teacher bonuses failed to boost test scores

        Results raise new questions about the effectiveness of ‘merit pay’ as an education reform strategy

        From staff and wire reports

        Featured Superintendent's Center, Policy, Research, School Administration, Superintendent's Center, Top News, eClassroom News, school reform

        Sep 21st, 2010

        Please Log in to print the full article

        <image001.gif> Email This Article

        <image002.jpg>

        Students whose teachers were offered bonuses of up to $15,000 a year for improved test scores fared no better than their peers.

        Offering big bonuses to teachers failed to raise students’ test scores in a three-year study released Sept. 21 that calls into question the Obama administration’s push for merit pay to improve education.

        The study, conducted in the metropolitan Nashville school system by Vanderbilt University ’s National Center on Performance Incentives, was described by the researchers as the nation’s first scientifically rigorous look at the effects of merit pay for teachers.

        It found that students whose teachers were offered bonuses of up to $15,000 a year for improved test scores registered the same gains on standardized exams as those whose teachers were given no such incentives.

        “I think most people agree today that the current way in which we compensate teachers is broken,” said Matthew Springer, executive director of the Vanderbilt center and lead researcher on the study. “But we don’t know what the better way is yet.”

        The study comes as the Obama administration is encouraging school systems to link teacher pay and tenure to how students perform on tests and other measures of achievement.

        The researchers looked at fifth- through eighth-grade math teachers from 2007 to 2009. A group of about 300 teachers started out in the study; half were eligible for the bonuses, the other half were not.

        The bonuses were given out based on improvements in scores on Tennessee ’s standardized exam, which is used by the state as part of the federal No Child Left Behind requirements.

        Springer was quick to point out that his study looked only at individual bonuses, not extra pay doled out to teams of teachers or an entire school. He said more research is needed before policy makers draw any definitive conclusions.

        “Some people were initially disappointed when they saw the results, but quickly turned around and said, ‘Well, at least we finally have an answer,’” he said. “It means pay can’t do it alone.”

        The federal Education Department called the study too narrowly focused.

        “It only looked at the narrow question of whether more pay motivates teachers to try harder,” said spokeswoman Sandra Abrevaya. “What we are trying to do is change the culture of teaching by giving all educators the feedback they need to get better while rewarding and incentivizing the best to teach in high-need schools [and] hard-to-staff subjects.”

        The American Federation of Teachers praised the study and argued that teachers need other resources, including better training and more supportive administrators.

        “Merit pay is not the panacea that some would like it to be. There are no quick fixes in education,” said union president Randi Weingarten. “Providing individual bonuses for teachers standing alone does not work.”

        Teachers unions have historically opposed merit pay, arguing that test scores are not an accurate measure of student achievement, that financial rewards could pit teachers against each other, and that administrators could use bonuses to reward favorites and punish others.

        Jennifer Conboy, a high school social studies teacher in Miami , called merit pay a “baseless fad.”

        “Merit pay is an excuse to resist the attempt of teachers to get fair pay in the first place,” the 37-year-old Conboy said. “On a personal level, merit pay would do nothing to me. I took this job because I think education is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and if I cared about democracy—which I do—then I had a responsibility to do whatever I could to strengthen education.”

        Only a few schools and districts across the country have merit pay, and in some states the idea is effectively illegal. The Obama administration hoped to encourage more states to pass merit pay laws with its $4.35 billion “Race to the Top” grant competition.

         

         

        Leonie Haimson
        Executive Director
        Class Size Matters
        124 Waverly Pl.
        New York , NY 10011
        212-674-7320
        classsizematters@...
        www.classsizematters.org

        http://nycpublicschoolparents.blogspot.com

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/leonie-haimson

         

        Follow me on twitter @leoniehaimson

         

        Make a tax-deductible contribution to Class Size Matters now!

        Subscribe to Class Size Matters news by emailing classsizematters-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

        Subscribe to the NYC education news by emailing nyceducationnews-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

         

         

         

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