What was that again?

You mean that someone is finally getting the fact that merit pay doesn’t work!?

If you scroll down the right-hand column of this page and go to “Merit Pay” you will find several studies that have stated this fact along with bloggers, teachers and other advocates for education for a long time.

To follow are some of those links:

Another Blow for Merit Pay

Diane Ravitch: Should Teacher Evaluation Depend Upon Student Test Scores?

Harvard Study Says That Teacher Pay Does Little To Boost Achievement

Mathematica Study on Merit Pay

Teacher Incentives and Student Achievement: Evidence From New York City Public Schools

From the National Academies: Value Added Methods to Access Teachers Not Ready For Use in High Stakes Decisions

The Project on Incentives in Teaching

There’s a Reason That I’m No Longer a Public School Teacher

To follow is an excerpt from the New York Times article New York City Abandons Teacher Bonus Program.

A New York City program that distributed $56 million in performance bonuses to teachers and other school staff members over the last three years will be permanently discontinued, the city Department of Education said on Sunday.

The decision was made in light of a study that found the bonuses had no positive effect on either student performance or teachers’ attitudes toward their jobs.

The department had already suspended the bonus program in January amid tightening budgets and concerns about its effectiveness.

The study, commissioned by the city, is to be published Monday by the RAND Corporation, the public policy research institution. It compared the performance of the approximately 200 city schools that participated in the bonus program with that of a control group of schools.

Weighing surveys, interviews and statistics, the study found that the bonus program had no effect on students’ test scores, on grades on the city’s controversial A to F school report cards, or on the way teachers did their jobs.

“We did not find improvements in student achievement at any of the grade levels,” said Julie A. Marsh, the report’s lead researcher and a visiting professor at the University of Southern California. “A lot of the principals and teachers saw the bonuses as a recognition and reward, as icing on the cake. But it’s not necessarily something that motivated them to change.”

The results add to a growing body of evidence nationally that so-called pay-for-performance bonuses for teachers that consist only of financial incentives have no effect on student achievement, the researchers wrote. Even so, federal education policy champions the concept, and spending on performance-based pay for teachers grew to $439 million nationally last year from $99 million in 2006, the study said.

In New York, the bonus program operated on a schoolwide basis, not an individual-teacher level, as a result of an agreement between the Education Department and the teachers’ union, the United Federation of Teachers.

Schools qualified for bonuses if they exceeded statistical targets based on their performance on the school report cards. Each school that won created a committee of teachers and administrators to determine how to distribute the money.

The study found that most schools decided to distribute the bonuses equally to all staff members, amounting to about $3,000 per teacher. But even at schools where the committee rewarded some teachers more than others, no effect on student performance was discerned.

Seattle, let’s not make the same costly mistake that New York did.