A center at Vanderbilt University today released results of the first scientific assessment of merit pay — or bonuses to teachers based on students' performance. It was a three-year study in Nashville public schools, grades 5-8. The full results will be available here shortly. Bottom line: the students in classroooms with merit paid teachers didn't outperform the others.
I guess Arkansas's Billionaires Club simply will have to demand more tests until they turn out right. Perhaps the Walton-Hussman school "reform" pit crew up at Walton U. can do the job.
In Nashville, teachers could get up to $15,000 in bonuses. The union agreed to the experiment, by the way.
Here's a good thorough rundown. The president's education secretary is unconvinced. Nonetheless:
Matthew G. Springer, director of the federally funded NCPI, said pay-for-performance is not "the magic bullet that so often the policy world is looking for."
At least in this experiment, Springer said, "It doesn't work."