Thursday, June 10, 2010

Teacher merit pay: What do we know? Not much, says report

Is teacher merit pay or pay for performance worthwhile? Well, the nonprofit, nonpartisan Education Commission of the States just released a report that essentially says the jury is still out on the idea - though it's being tried in several states, and is highly touted, including here in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. The report, called "Teacher Merit Pay: What do we know?" is in the June issue of The Progress of Education Reform, the ECS's monthly news organ.

The paper looks at four places - Iowa, Texas, Chicago and Denver - that has pay for performance projects under way, and doesn't find much evidence that the programs have had any effect on student performance. But the evaluators say that might not be because of the idea but other factors such as the limited implementation of the programs with small student samples in some districts or incentive pay for teachers being too low to make a difference or promote change.

It's interesting reading though not conclusive about the value of pay for performance. But as CMS gets more involved in setting up and implementing its own model, this does give an idea of the potential difficulties in determining success. Find the report at


Anonymous said...

Better say nothing than nothing to the purpose...................................................

YoungLady said...

Many teachers work a second job to make ends meet. We pay athelets and mucicians(entertainers) Where are our priorities? Have you visited a classroom lately? Ran into a group of teens in the mall? Can you imagine them in a classroom setting? Teaching is a very difficult job and we need to pay the people who do it.