New study finds bonus pay “had no positive effects on student achievement at any grade level”

A new RAND study released today of a school bonus programs in New York found that teacher incentive pay did not lead to improved student performance.

This study resembles one released 10 months ago by the National Center on Performance Incentives at Vanderbilt University. In that study, researchers reviewed test scores of 300 middle school math teachers who agreed to participate in a three-year randomized experiment testing the belief that teachers will work harder and produce greater student gains if they are rewarded for it. The study found that bonus pay did not improve student outcomes.

The RAND findings that financial incentives for teachers in New York also failed to improve student achievement will likely fuel the growing resistance to Race to the Top, which encourages pay for performance programs.

These studies contradict the assumption that dangling rewards will make teachers strive to advance their students. One suggestion why performance pay doesn’t produce higher student achievement is that teachers are already working as hard as they can. Another is that the rewards being dangled are not large enough to entice teachers.

According to the release on the study:

A New York City program designed to improve student performance through school-based financial incentives for teachers did not improve student achievement, most likely because it did not change teacher behavior and the conditions needed to motivate staff were not achieved, according to a RAND Corporation study issued today.

From 2007 to 2010, nearly 200 high-needs New York City public schools participated in the Schoolwide Performance Bonus Program. The study, commissioned by the New York City Department of Education and the United Federation of Teachers and funded by the New York City Fund for Public Schools and National Center on Performance Initiatives, is the most comprehensive study on the city’s performance pay program.

Implemented for the first time in the 2007–2008 school year, this three-year program provided financial rewards based on school-level performance to educators in high-needs elementary, middle, and high schools. Schools enrolled in the program could choose to opt out.

Using independent analysis of test scores, interviews with school administrators, teachers, and other personnel, and teacher and school staff surveys, researchers say the study provides critical insight into the program’s design and its implementation.

“Bonuses alone have not proven to be the answer to bettering student achievement,” said Julie Marsh, the study’s lead author. “Educators said bonuses are desirable, but they also said they did not change how they perform their job because of bonuses. Some didn’t understand how the program worked, while others did not perceive the bonus as having tremendous value. Still others felt the bonus criteria relied too heavily on test scores. We believe these factors may have actually weakened the motivational effects of the bonus program.”

The New York City Department of Education and the United Federation of Teachers, an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, jointly implemented the Schoolwide Performance Bonus Program for the first time during the 2007-2008 school year. Using a random sample of the city’s high-needs public schools, the program lasted for three academic years, with the goal of improving student performance through school-based financial incentives paid to teachers.

Researchers from RAND Education and the National Center on Performance Initiatives at Vanderbilt University examined student test scores and administrative data, conducted teacher, school staff, and administrator surveys, and interviewed school administrators, staff members, program sponsors, and union and district officials.

The researchers found that the program did not improve student achievement or affect teachers’ reported behaviors or attitudes, perhaps in part because conditions needed to motivate staff were not achieved and because of the high level of accountability already present for participating and non-participating schools.”

Among the key findings:

–Overall, the program had no positive effects on student achievement at any grade level. Researcher analysis of student achievement on the state’s accountability tests found no positive effects overall for students attending elementary, middle or K-8 schools in years one through three, and for high schools students during the first two years of the program.

–The program did not lead to improvements on elementary, middle and high school progress report scores. The study found no statistically significant differences between scores of Schoolwide Performance Bonus Program treatment and control schools and between schools that participated in Schoolwide Performance Bonus Program each year (regardless of random assignment) and other eligible schools.

–Researchers found no differences between the reported teaching practices, effort and attitudes of teachers in treatment schools and those of the control group.

–Several key conditions that theory suggests are necessary for performance-based incentive programs to change behaviors (e.g., understanding, buy-in for the bonus criteria, perceived value of bonus, perceived fairness) did not take root in all schools.

–Other accountability incentives — such as receiving a high progress report grade or achieving adequate yearly progress targets — and intrinsic motivation were deemed by many teachers as more salient than financial rewards.

Researchers also found that a majority of the schools disseminated the bonuses equally among staff, despite program guidelines granting school committees the flexibility to distribute the bonus shares as they deemed fit.

“Other research and theory suggests that for bonus programs to be effective in improving student performance, there must be a high level of understanding of the program and bonus criteria, educators must have ‘buy-in,’ and they need to view bonuses as large enough to motivate extra effort, ” said Marsh, adjunct researcher at RAND and visiting associate professor at the University of Southern California. “These characteristics were lacking in many schools participating in the New York City program, and were a key reason why some educators said the program did not influence them to change their behavior.”

The research was conducted by RAND Education, a unit of the RAND Corporation, and National Center on Performance Initiatives partners at Vanderbilt University. Funding to carry out the work was provided by the New York City Fund for Public Schools and National Center on Performance Initiatives.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

157 comments Add your comment

d

July 18th, 2011
5:40 am

I think when it comes down to it, the question needs to be asked whose performance is being measured – the teacher’s or the students’. The answer is the latter. If there is not an incentive for the students, they have little buy in to try to improve themselves. I’ve had students tell me that they have had other teachers, that despite the information gained, if they knew the teacher’s future depended on the student performance on a particular test, the students disliked the teacher for whatever reason enough that they would bomb the test intentionally. So, if we are going to pay someone for performing on a test, it should be the actual person taking the test. Since that won’t actually happen, perhaps we need to take a look at the fact that “student performance” and “student achievement” are not the same as “student learning” and focus on what the actual goal of formal education is.

Independent

July 18th, 2011
6:01 am

“d” – you are so correct. This is not about teacher performance, this is about student performance. When a student doesn’t show up for half his classes, sleeps through most of the others, and then is a distraction to the other students, but is left in the classroom anyway, do you really expect that student to pass the CRCT? And yet none of that is controllable by the teacher. If you are going to make the teacher responsible, then give the teacher police powers to fine and jail parents whose kids are truant from school. Give teachers the right to remove troublemakers from their classroom permanently. Or better yet, use CRCT scores the way they should be used – as a measure of student performance and not teacher performance, At the “great” schools of East Cobb, the teachers can do nothing at all and the students will pass the CRCT – because they are good students. At some of APS systems, the best teacher in the world could not get those students to learn – because they aren’t there!

Sin I Cull

July 18th, 2011
6:07 am

Who didn’t know “performance pay” was going to turn out like this????

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Augusta

July 18th, 2011
6:35 am

Sin I Cull,

Like Yogi Berra liked to put it, “It ain’t over til it’s over.”

And the issue of the use of performance pay in Education is a long way from being over.

Lynn D

July 18th, 2011
6:42 am

Maureen

A few years ago, the Mayor of New York raised significant private funds to financially reward students for improving achievement. Do you know what ever happened with that? Did it work? Does it continue today?

Title I started when my mom was teaching. Back then, they use to pay parents to show up for conferences and school events.

Logic 05

July 18th, 2011
6:57 am

I don’t understand all of the whining from teachers. There are countless jobs that work on commission. If they don’t produce … they get fired. Why should teachers be any different? Spare me all of the crap about teaching children is different. Produce or get fired…Period.

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Mark

July 18th, 2011
7:04 am

Calling this performance pay is misleading and borderline silly. Its a simple bonus and we don’t see the amount so I’m guessing its not much compared to their normal pay. If they want a real study they need to provide real performance pay or salary increases that are based on specific measurements. And they also need to free up the teachers to allow them to be creative instead of keeping them to a pre-existing curriculum. Bottom line – let’s have a real test and not something designed to fail from the start.

socio-economics

July 18th, 2011
7:15 am

The issue may be far from over, but we all knew that Pay for Performance would pervert the process. Cheating scandal aside, I remember reading about a school that earned Pay for Performance by setting a points goal in Accelerated Reader, and then really poured on the students’ extrinsic motivators – candy, pizza, recognitions galore. Amazingly hollow measure. Did the students read any better? Was their love of reading enhanced? Or did they jump through those bubbles to get the prize? Data is NOT everything, just a snapshot of a date in time. Eegads and lil’ fishies!

David Sims

July 18th, 2011
7:22 am

“A New York City program designed to improve student performance through school-based financial incentives for teachers did not improve student achievement, most likely because it did not change teacher behavior and the conditions needed to motivate staff were not achieved, according to a RAND Corporation study issued today.”

No. Most of the teachers in public schools do know what they’re doing, and they are competent enough to teach well. The failure of incentive pay to achieve results simply means that the teachers are not the bottleneck in learning. The students are. Or, I should say, different groups of students have different levels of learning ability, and schools that have high percentages of the less-able students are usually the ones that don’t make AYP.

Further, by focusing so much of helping the slower kids catch up, you sacrifice the opportunity to take the faster kids as far as they might have gone. It’s as if you spent a million dollars trying (and failing) to teach pigs to sing, while spending not one dime for singing lessons to people innately blessed with good voices. That’s why American education no longer leads the world in performance. Its goals were corrupted by leftists afflicted with the moralistic fallacy.

And, when cheating is going on, these are also the schools that are most likely to be doing it. As in Atlanta. There are people who very stubbornly persist in reaching the wrong conclusions about what the causes of educational failure are.

parents need to be involved

July 18th, 2011
7:25 am

D and Independent you are correct and I would add to that, that parents need to be more involved in their child’s education. They need to quit making excuses for why they didn’t do their homework, disrupted class, did poorly on a test, etc. Parents need to back the teacher up and hold the student accountable for their actions. Otherwise they end with a student who didn’t take advantage of a good free education and they’re on their students college profesor’s email making excuses and argueing about a grade they receeved in college or attending them ona job interview to handle the tough questions.

Inatlanta

July 18th, 2011
7:27 am

Yes, explain student performance to Thomas Cox (editorial in today’s paper). If your student doesn’t like the talking, grabbing of butts, drugs, or bullying in schools today, they do not have the choice of a different school environment. Where were these attorney’s when the APS director who tried to report the cheating scandal and was chastised for sexual harassment. Having been in the situation of having to report employees not performing their jobs, I will tell you the lawyers think the accuser makes up the stories, their is no money in this for them. I am glad these teacher did not take the pay for performance. At GCPS central office (2000) money in the form of raises was given mainly to friends and relatives, whether or nor they did their job. High performers left, were fired, or in one case crippled. Their is and was no shame on Wilbanks or the GCPS Brd. of Ed..

Joe Frank

July 18th, 2011
7:28 am

Let’s see…we do a study in one of the most unionized, bearucratic systems in the country and no positive results? Who would have thought. Instead of pay for performance, how about no performance, no job? That would motivate.
A simple system has been at work the last few years that educators hate but works very well. It is in place at schools all over the state and country that will take on the teacher mafia.
You test ALL the classes in a grade level the first day of class and post the scores outside the class for EVERYONE to see. ( no names of course) A ciriculum is taught and tested on weekly. A group meeting is held weekly to evaluate the scores. The underperforming classes are discussed in open group, and a GROUP effort is mad to get them up to par. The class is monitored to assure the teacher is implementing the suggested plan to improve productivity. This system works! Teachers hate it because they are FORCED to either take direction to improve their teaching methods, or they face job loss. The STUDENTS win.

Joe Frank

July 18th, 2011
7:29 am

Replce “mad” with made above sorry!

Mikey D

July 18th, 2011
7:31 am

@Maureen
Any way you’d be able to get a comment from those at the state level overseeing rttt? There is no research backing up what they are doing. Quite the opposite. Now, there is pretty compelling research that says it won’t work. I’d love to get their response. Do they think it will be different here? If so, what is that basis of that belief?

I_teach

July 18th, 2011
7:37 am

Logic 05:

Here is the problem with your analogy….

See, children are not PRODUCTS. They come to use with many weaknesses, most of which are out of our control.

See, when a worker on commission gets a ‘faulty’ or ‘defective’ product, it is either marked down, or not sold….

Public schools must take everyone who is legally entitled to attend that school; we can’t turn someone away because, well, they have an IQ of 73 and won’t perform as well as his/her peers. We can’t turn away the child who has no exposure to books, or comes to us with huge economic disadvantages that have impacted his/her life.

All children to not bring the same skill set, motivation, and support with them to school.

They are not pieces of perfect leather, waiting to be stamped upon, while discarding the factory seconds.

Until ALL children come to school with the exact same skills, advantages, etc., it is ridiculous to assume they will all perform well on standardized tests.

Many years ago, the night before the major testing window began, one of my brightest student’s mother was arrested. He came to school distraught, and in no way ready emotionally prepared to focus on a test. (Thankfully, this was before the ‘gateway’ testing began). And, as expected, he did not do well.

A test takes a snapshot of ONE day; if the child isn’t feeling well; doesn’t test well; is overly anxious, well, then it is a fool’s mission to use that ONE test to determine how well students and their teachers are doing.

Teaching children IS different. I suggest you go volunteer in your local school (doing more than opening car doors or herding kids through the cafeteria line), to see how difficult it is bridging some of the gaps students bring to their classroom.

I_teach

July 18th, 2011
7:41 am

My county-without ANY input from the teachers-signed on for the RTT mess.

I say “mess,” because this grant relies on schools using test scores to rate teachers’ performances.

During training that lasted over six months, the last session was postponed-the reason? No one had quite figured out HOW the tests would be tied to our scores.

No one has determined how the more than half the teachers who teach non-tested subjects will be evaluated, since we do not have test scores to tie us to students.

The brilliant idea?

Parent and student surveys.

Yep. I can’t wait to see how NON-BIASED and objective those will be…and c’mon…a kindergartner-completing a survey??

Laughable.

RTT is just more of the same. All of the funds are awarded on a competitive grant basis. I suggest if you really want to know more, download and read the “Blueprint for Reform.”

http://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/blueprint/index.html

BlahBlahBlah

July 18th, 2011
7:43 am

For the millionth time – IT’S THE PARENTS!

Tony

July 18th, 2011
7:46 am

Teachers are producing more results now than ever before. There is plenty of evidence of this, but it is routinely ignored. The biggest reason teaching does not respond to financial incentives the way the business community would like is because teaching is an altruistic enterprise. It depends largely upon trusting relationships. So-called “incentives” distort the relationships and the altruism needed for success.

JASon

July 18th, 2011
7:54 am

“Still others felt the bonus criteria relied too heavily on test scores.”

Classic. What did they want it to rely on, finger painting

Cobb Teacher

July 18th, 2011
8:02 am

Dr NO

July 18th, 2011
8:05 am

Bonus pay should be eliminated within the educational system as it tends to increase the chances of teachers…CHEATING!!

msbaker111

July 18th, 2011
8:23 am

Anyone concerned with motivating teachers or students should read Daniel Pink’s “Drive”. He cites several research studies whose findings support the conclusions of those listed here. In summary, people are motivated to put forth more effort to complete job-related tasks when they:
1. Are allowed a degree of autonomy
2. Work toward mastery of a skill
3. Associate the task with a significant purpose

In low-performing schools, teachers are afforded little autonomy by administrators. They are told what to teach, how to teach, etc. with relatively no regard for their expertise or observations about what works or doesn’t work for their students. As for mastery, they are barely given time to grasp the structure of one method or strategy before it is thrown out and a new one is imposed. Finally, in regard to a sense of purpose, most teachers are familiar with the research on standardized testing and see little relevance in placing such a strong emphasis upon it.

See the video below for an engaging illustrated summary of Pink’s “Drive”.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFjJc&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Back to the Fifties

July 18th, 2011
8:27 am

Until we demand and control discipline in the classroom learning is compromised. This must be dealt with before any improvements in test scores can occur. Too much time is wasted on one student to the detriment of the rest. Of course, in the fifties parents were really parents and made sure the kids behaved one way or another!

sloboffthestreet

July 18th, 2011
8:29 am

With only 16% of the teachers in Washington D.C. deemed “HIGHLY EFFECTIVE” it makes me wonder what the national average is. Remember, Georgia ranked dead last in 2001, right behind D.C., the same year those mean, stupid people in Washington rolled out NCLB. One would think with all the highly educated, perhaps even brilliant experts here on this blog alone with 20 or 30 years of service that somehow this argument would have already come to an end. Then again perhaps we continue to mirror the education system in the District of Columbia with only 16% of our states teachers and experts being highly effective. One thing becomes apparent. Educators like to scrutinize, but they do not like scrutiny. Who knew???

sirwinston19

July 18th, 2011
8:33 am

When anyone put money on anything, the gains often are those at the top! The children in this particular gain nothing but lies told about they scored higher when they no nothing about how they did it when they are well below reading levels. Now to put this whole things in perspective; Dr Hall, Augustine, all of those business leaders all knew something was not righ back in January or February so they let the ball keep rollling thinking that Dr. Hall would actually level things out because they knew she was aware; and if she did not, she should have with all of the money she has been paid over the years and….it was good, to good for her to stop getting it. All teachers no matter if they private, or public know’s what their annual salaries are before they take the job to teach. If they are permitted to work a part-time job, then if that is not an ethical violations, that is a way to earn
extra money. To take bonus knowing it was not earn for the right reasons then don’t take that money. I also realize how thing might have been in those schools and the preassure to this or that, but no has to put themselves in a criminal position; taking money place youself a
part of the problem instead of being part of the solution. Those teachers all was forced to follow the principles orders of face termination from what I read. If that is the case, due process is in order and they need their day in court. I hope they all are not fired and I think we have just the gun without knowing all of the facts. We now need to know who started and authorized this cheating mob-style ring.

Dondee

July 18th, 2011
8:35 am

I_Teach….wonder if we work for the same county. Yes, I was shocked that we were “signed up” for this new set of hoops to jump through. RTTT….just NLCB.2.

Dondee

July 18th, 2011
8:35 am

oops…dyslexic fingers….NCLB.2!

Scott

July 18th, 2011
8:35 am

Here’s an article I can also agree with. Teachers, for the most part, are already doing everything they can to encourage students to learn. They don’t need more incentive, just support in areas they currently don’t get any (like student discipline and authentic grading). If we want students to do better, it’s time to give them incentives and consequences. Such as, if you fail, you are retained while your peers move on. Or how about, if you fail two years in a row or can’t behave you are sent to alternative school, and if you fail there you are removed from the system. Or maybe someone can come up with a positive incentive, such as getting a drivers license at 16 if you get good grades, 17 or 18 if you don’t. Bottom line, its time to pressure the kids (many of whom aren’t trying very hard) not the teachers (most of whom are already… if only more had the courage to grade strictly).

Dondee

July 18th, 2011
8:36 am

And I think the money we will receive from this program is peanuts compared to what is needed for education. A disappointment.

3rd Grade Teacher

July 18th, 2011
8:39 am

These findings simply reinforce Maslow’s theory of human motivation. I didn’t choose teaching for security purposes, particularly not for financial rewards. My base salary (while it could be enjoyably more) is enough of a foundation for the real reason I want to teach – self-actualization, service and esteem. Politicians, pundits, and angry public citizens that want to change school environments would better serve us all by raising the bar on teacher qualifications, getting rid of teachers that are in over their heads, and THEN giving teachers the professional freedom to teach developmentally-appropriate curriculum…and I emphasize “developmently-appropriate.”…in a creative, efficient, hands-on way.

3rd Grade Teacher

July 18th, 2011
8:43 am

misspelled developmentally…sorry…. I also agree with other posters that student motivation is at the core of our educational issues. I highly recommend 2 books I’m currently reading, “The iY Generation” and “Boys Adrift.”

teachSS

July 18th, 2011
9:07 am

GCPS has been doing performance evals for over 10 years; it’s called RBES. Maybe that’s why we are one of the counties piloting the “how-to” program for RTT. As long as you leave my salary alone, you can give me bonuses all day. It won’t change the way I teach or collaborate with other teachers. It’s a shame extra pay for advanced degree’s for new teachers or current ones that didn’t begin their classes by the certain date (July 15). It’s a shame new teachers won’t have salary (how measly it is) based on degree plus years like current teachers. It is going to drive teachers out of Georgia so fast it’ll make your head spin.

AYP

July 18th, 2011
9:07 am

Does anyone know when the AYP results will be announced?

Here's an Idea

July 18th, 2011
9:08 am

Bonus pay did not improve student outcomes (dah).

Bonus pay for students? Thats an idea that could work.

Futureteacher?

July 18th, 2011
9:29 am

I think many people are failing to realize that almost 100% of people who go into teaching are not motivated by money!!

As a possible future teacher, I would not be looking into teaching if I wanted to make anything near a grown up salary..

SallyB

July 18th, 2011
9:41 am

@Logic05 RE: “why should teachers be different…” [commissioned salespeople, etc.]

Analogy: The Blackberry Jam cautionary tale:

The salesperson selling the jam that was made with the best quality crop of blackberries vs. the one selling the jam made from those of less quality sold at the same price on the same shelf .

The sales of two salesmen are compared with only one goal, i.e. the number sold/positive comments/return customers/whatever.

The resulting sales numbers lie not with the salesperson, but the people who provide the blackberries.

Thus, the difference in scores of private school students who are screened before admission and who are not allowed to stay if they don’t meet the “quality standards” both academic and behavioral……and those in public school who face no screening at all.

The teachers in the private school get all the accolades [bonuses] and the teachers in the public schools are regarded as incompetent.

Make sense to you???

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Augusta

July 18th, 2011
9:47 am

Don’t be too quick to give up on the utility of statistical prediction.

I love teaching. I hate what it is becoming...

July 18th, 2011
9:47 am

Logic,

“I don’t understand all of the whining from teachers. ….Spare me all of the crap about teaching children is different. Produce or get fired…Period.”

Maybe teachers state that teaching children “is different” because they are actually in the classrooms doing the job and might actually KNOW something about what works and what doesn’t. Why do so many folks assume teachers don’t know what they are talking about? Why are the opinions of people who have never taught given more weight than those who actually work with students?

Maybe we whine because we keep hoping we can convince people like you that we actually KNOW something about teaching – you know, the job WE do day after day? Maybe people should try accepting that we might know more about teaching than those who have never taught.

sloboffthestreet

July 18th, 2011
9:48 am

Perhaps some of you have become nuns and just think your teachers. I can see how easy it would be to make this mistake. I suppose it also might explain the poor results.

Maureen Downey

July 18th, 2011
9:55 am

@AYP, DOE says end of this week.

Mikey D

July 18th, 2011
10:21 am

@Maureen
Any possibililty of getting someone from the state level who is overseeing rttt to comment on these research studies that suggest Georgia’s plan will fail?

sloboffthestreet

July 18th, 2011
10:23 am

I LOVE wrote,

Maybe we whine because we keep hoping we can convince people like you that we actually KNOW something about teaching – you know, the job WE do day after day? Maybe people should try accepting that we might know more about teaching than those who have never taught.

Maybe you whine because you were taught to whine along with your fellow teachers. As for the part about “Day after Day” a good joke in the morning does make my day. Arrogance exposes itself once again with your idea that parents don’t teach or have never taught. As parents we are our childrens first teachers. I as a parent of 2 grade schoolers have the “PLEASURE” of teaching them what should have been taught, every day after school, weekends and during the summer. Thanks to whoever decided to give away IXL math. Also the people at Starfall were a big help last year. Your gift has been without a doubt the greatest tool in our childrens education. It is sad parents have to go find these resources on their own. Being retired for the last 6 years it has left me the time to pick up the slack. What you don’t like is that many parents both work what is actually “DAY AFTER DAY” and don’t have the time to do their job and yours. Something else you might want to consider. They pay your salary and benefits. You don’t pay theirs. Only you can prevent whining!!! Won’t you do your part???

Cheating

July 18th, 2011
10:24 am

Dr. Hall was CHEATING in New York, so guess what the BOE should take the blame also.

amazed

July 18th, 2011
10:36 am

Teachers are people too. There is plenty of study on bonuses throughout the work world. The next to last paragraph is obvious. They need to be large enough, understood enough and controllable. They also motivate people to achieve the goal, so you have to be careful in how you define the goal. APS bonuses (and penalties) were obviously large enough and understood enough. But they were apparently unrealistic and therefore not controllable. And the goal seemed to be to achieve the scores at any price. To be controllable, there needs to be an emphasis on student improvement more than an arbitrary goal for all students.

msbaker111

July 18th, 2011
10:53 am

@slob:
You stated, “Perhaps some of you have become nuns and just think your teachers.”

I’m not sure what nuns have to do with this discussion, but I’m sure even they know the difference between your and you’re.
(Sorry, but I just couldn’t resist.)

sloboffthestreet

July 18th, 2011
11:06 am

msbaker111, Please refer to 3rd Grade Teacher, TeacherSS and Futureteacher???. Bless Your Little Heart!!!

I love teaching. I hate what it is becoming...

July 18th, 2011
11:14 am

slob,

“Arrogance exposes itself once again with your idea that parents don’t teach or have never taught. ”

Perhaps you should go back through my posting history and read how many positive comments I have made about the importance of parents and how much I appreciate their cooperation as we work TOGETHER to insure their children receive the best education. I have NEVER disparaged the efforts of involved, concerned parents.

However, teaching your own child or children is not quite the same as trying to teach a full class of 25 students of varied backgrounds, cultures, languages, skill levels, home environments, and educational foundations, many of whom have parents who have no interest in assisting their child reach their full potential.

Paddy O

July 18th, 2011
11:16 am

Not too much of a surprise. Paying extra to 2nd grade teachers because they have ‘earned” a masters degree doesn’nt make much sense either. However, I do support providing bonus funds based on CRCT excellent – over 90%, you would get a $1000; over 95%, $2500; 100% – $5000 bonus. BUT, the state BOE needs to come up with a fool proof procedure to prevent cheating.

I beg to differ...

July 18th, 2011
11:36 am

@slob – I DO pay their salaries…when I purchase their products and support their businesses. Since I pay taxes, I also pay some of my own. You’re clearly unhappy with your situation, but realize that not all people are that unhappy – studies have shown that while most people give public ed as a whole a low mark, they grade their own school much higher. Go figure.

As to the topic at hand, Daniel Pink’s book “Drive” is an excellent read, and adds much insight. Roland Fryer has also done a lot of research in the area. This isn’t as easy to plan and implement as one might think. I, for one, would be interested in it if the following occurred: 1. it would need to be a pre and post test situation, 2. the test would need to be a transparent and valid metric, 3. there would have to be an incentive for the students as well as the teachers, and 4. it would need to reward collaboration among teachers.