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November 18, 2011

Making Sense of the Whole "Are Teachers Overpaid?" Thing

A couple weeks ago, Andrew Biggs, an AEI colleague, and Jason Richwine of the Heritage Foundation, authored a controversial study on teacher pay. They used federal wage, benefit, and job-security data, along with measures of cognitive ability, to argue that teachers are overpaid compared to what th...

April 04, 2011

Florida's Senate Bill 736: With "Wins" Like These...

Recently, I wrote about how turning reasonable discussions about issues like teacher evaluation and pay into polarizing moral crusades yields "reform" victories that amount to self-defeating, ham-handed mandates. The most recent example is the troubling, recently-enacted Florida Senate Bill 736. ...

March 24, 2011

How Moral Crusading Makes Us Stupid

One of my least favorite things about education is how eagerly we turn sensible discussions into bizarrely polarizing moral crusades. Aided by competing, mindless invocations of "it's for the kids," we manage to turn otherwise sensible discussions about school accountability, teacher evaluation and...

December 10, 2010

Rethinking Pay v. Mere Merit Pay Silliness

Boy, I can't decide whether I get more frustrated by the Ravitchian charge that rethinking teacher pay is an attack on schooling or the ludicrous merit pay schemes that masquerade as reform today. My choice, when asked to pick between those two approaches, is "neither." I try to explain why that's...

September 23, 2010

Gates R&D Chief Tom Kane on the Nashville Merit Pay Study

In response to Monday's post on the Nashville merit pay study, Gates Foundation research honcho and Harvard professor Tom Kane sent me a really thoughtful, incisive take on the study's limitations. Tom, a good friend and one of the smartest folks in the business, is currently heading up the massive ...

September 20, 2010

Missing the POINT: Tomorrow's Big Merit Pay Study Will Tell Us... Nothing

Tomorrow, Vanderbilt University's National Center on Performance Incentives will publish the Project on Incentives in Teaching (POINT) study, reporting the results of a major three-year teacher pay experiment in the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools. The study examines the effect of merit pay f...

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The opinions expressed in Rick Hess Straight Up are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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