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August 28, 2012

Is a Master's Degree Worth $30,000?

Should a Master's degree be part of the teacher certification process, and what role should it play in compensation, if any? Research has shown that holding a Master's degree does not predict higher teaching quality, and critics have pointed out that states "spend" some $14.8 billion on the pay bum...

July 25, 2011

Zombie Postmortem: Why Merit Pay Died in NYC, and Why It'll Rise Again (and Again, and Again...)

Last week, NYC announced the end of its merit pay program after 3 years and $56 million. It's good timing—the Atlanta cheating scandal has cast a pall over any attempt to tie compensation to test scores. The Times reports: The decision was made in light of a study that found the bonuses had no...

July 20, 2011

How to Fix Accountability in U.S. Schools

The Atlanta cheating scandal has sparked a national debate about the wisdom of accountability based on high-stakes testing. As I argued in my last post, I don't think tests themselves are the problem; it's our accountability structures that need to be rethought. Here's my take on what we should do t...

July 08, 2011

State Report Finds Egregious Cheating in Atlanta

@eduleadership It's DC all over again. EdWeek's Christina Samuels writes on the District Dossier blog: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has published on its website the entire 400-page state report that alleges that principals and teachers changed student answers on state tests in order to get high...

April 01, 2011

Cheating in DC: What Accountability Hath Wrought

@eduleadership Wired Magazine recently published a fascinating article on how lottery scratch-off games can be beaten and used for money-laundering. How did officials find out? Through the use of forensic statistics, which found unusual patterns of lottery wins among suspected mobsters. Earlier th...

March 22, 2011

Incentives & Performance: How It's All Supposed to Work

@eduleadership Despite the complete lack of evidence that they work, pay-for-performance schemes seem to be as popular as ever. Why does anyone think such plans will improve student learning? I came across a decent explanation recently. In their 2007 article "What to Do? The Effects of Discrepanc...

December 06, 2010

Economic Incentives in Education

How might new economic incentives impact educator performance? There are plenty of plans afoot to restructure teacher and principal compensation (many of which are some version of merit pay), but what economic role might these plans actually play? First, whether we like it or not, economic incentiv...

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