Australian Teachers Work Longer Hours and Face More Challenges Than Teachers in Many Countries

Despite working longer hours and facing more challenging circumstances than teachers in many other countries, Australian teachers report high job satisfaction and strong self-belief about their ability to help students learn. However, they need to be better supported by the community in the challenging job they do on behalf of society.

These results come from the Teaching and Learning International Survey, recently published by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). It provides a detailed picture of the experiences of lower secondary teachers across 34 countries, including 24 OECD countries. Continue reading “Australian Teachers Work Longer Hours and Face More Challenges Than Teachers in Many Countries”

Teach for Australia is Not Cost-effective

An evaluation of Teach for Australia carried out by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) shows that it is a very high cost program but fails to demonstrate that it has improved school outcomes or teacher retention in disadvantaged schools.

The cost of training TFA associates vastly exceeds that of traditional university-based training. Retention of TFA teachers is well below that of mainstream teaching graduates and a significant proportion of those who remain in teaching transfer out of disadvantaged schools. There is no robust evidence that TFA teachers are more successful in improving student results in disadvantaged schools than university-trained teachers. Continue reading “Teach for Australia is Not Cost-effective”

Business Council Ignores Evidence on Performance Pay

The Business Council of Australia recently released an economic action plan for Australia. One among a number of recommendations is to devolve power over teacher salaries to school principals and allow them to pay teachers according to their performance.

No evidence is offered to support the recommendation. If the BCA had looked it would have found that the weight of research evidence shows that performance pay has no effect on student achievement (see here and here). The deputy director for education at the OECD, Andreas Schleicher, has said that the international evidence reveals “no relationship” between student test results and the use of performance pay. Continue reading “Business Council Ignores Evidence on Performance Pay”

“Blanket Stigmatisation” and “Battering” of Teachers Must End

Professor Stephen Dinham, Chair of Teacher Education at the University of Melbourne, recently delivered the Phillip Hughes Oration at the Australian College of Education in Canberra on 28 February. He said that the quality teaching movement is in danger of being hijacked by naive, ill-informed, half-baked solutions and that education has become the ‘battered profession’ subjected to ‘blanket stigmatisation’. The following is an abridged version of the oration. Continue reading ““Blanket Stigmatisation” and “Battering” of Teachers Must End”

Incentive Pay Schemes do not Change Teaching Practices

A study of three teacher performance pay schemes in the United States has found that they did not change teaching motivation and practices.

The study concluded that “there is limited evidence that any of the three programs changed teachers’ instructional practices, especially practices significantly associated with student achievement”. It said that “the lack of program impact on teachers’ practices suggests that more careful thinking about the logic model of incentive pay programs is necessary.” Continue reading “Incentive Pay Schemes do not Change Teaching Practices”

No Evidence That Incentive Pay for Teacher Teams Improves Student Outcomes

The June issue of the RAND Corporation’s Congressional Education Newsletter informs members of the US Congress that pay for performance for teachers in US schools is not working. Continue reading “No Evidence That Incentive Pay for Teacher Teams Improves Student Outcomes”

Another Blow to Teacher Performance-Pay Schemes

The OECD has just delivered another blow to the Federal Government’s teacher bonus scheme. It comes on top of the recent report on the schools workforce by the Productivity Commission which recommended against bonus payments as a way to improve teacher performance. Continue reading “Another Blow to Teacher Performance-Pay Schemes”

Performance Pay Does Not Even Work in Business

The secret is well and truly out about performance pay – it just does not work even in business. But education policy makers are not hearing it.

Leading international business academics say that performance-related pay does not work in business and should be scrapped. An article in a recent issue of the prestigious Harvard Business Review says that the evidence keeps growing that pay for performance is ineffective. It says that there are other ways to motivate employees that yield better results at lower cost. Continue reading “Performance Pay Does Not Even Work in Business”

High Profile Teacher Bonus Pay Program has Failed to Increase Student Results

One of the major teacher performance pay schemes in the United States has failed to increase student achievement according to a comprehensive study published this month. Student achievement in reading, mathematics and science was no better in schools participating in the Chicago Teacher Advancement Program (TAP) than in comparable schools that did not implement the program.

However, by changing the working conditions in schools, the program may have contributed to higher teacher retention rates in TAP schools compared to non-TAP schools. The program increased the amount of mentoring, promotion opportunity, and compensation relative to non-TAP schools, and these may have translated into making Chicago TAP schools a more desirable place to continue working. Continue reading “High Profile Teacher Bonus Pay Program has Failed to Increase Student Results”