With guest, Louder Than a Bomb poet Nate Marshall

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

'Performance pay' a bust in Chicago

A study of Chicago's so-called merit-pay program (TAP) reveals it did nothing to improve measurable student learning outcomes in reading and math. Merit-pay bonuses also failed to improve teacher retention rates. "Not surprising" says CPS spokesperson. "We were focused on professional development." Huh!

Great! Let's force schools to do it everywhere as part of Race To The Top.


  1. The analysts totally miss the point. Was it the focus on professional development? Were the bonuses spread among too many people, or too low to have an impact? DId they not give TAP enough time to become effective before they did the study?

    The real issue is that TAP is a bad model. Heavily scripted, highly hierarchical, with no room for the creative problem-solving and experimentation that makes education so exciting. Bad for professional community, encouraging competition over collaboration. Excessive emphasis on quantitative analysis. So much about good teaching can not be quantified. In real life, in real classrooms, not everything that counts can be measured.

  2. Follow the money. How big is the contract with Milken's organization? Break out the calculators.


Agree? Disagree? Let me hear from you.