Sunday, December 1, 2013

Merit Pay Once Again Proven to Be A Wash Out According to New Research Study

For those still holding out hope for that merit pay will be the salvation of public education, here's yet another study that points out that such practices are a waste of time. Roland Fryer from Harvard University and the National Bureau of Economic Research, has a study entitled "Teacher Incentives and Student Achievement: Evidence from New York City Public Schools" that is to be published in The Journal of Labor Economics.This study once again affirms that many of us who have spent our lives in education know full well:
Merit pay schemes are a waste of effort and time.
In this study, Fryer points to these findings about merit pay:

  • No evidence that teacher incentives had a positive effect on student achievement. In fact, in this study, STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT MAY HAVE DECLINED.
  •  Incentives did not change student nor teacher behavior.
One can't but help how many of these studies will have to be done before our politicians and state policymakers will finally understand what Daniel Pink has been saying all along:
"Rewards can perform a weird sort of behavioral alchemy: they can transform an interesting task into a drudge. They can turn play into work. And by diminishing intrinsic motivation , they can send performance, creativity, and even upstanding behavior toppling like dominoes." Daniel Pink, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
I would send a copy of Drive to our state legislators and even our governor, but I'm not sure they read books.

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