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”

Tapping Into What Makes Teachers Tick

Few or no gains come from performance pay incentives for teachers according to a report published last month by a US education think tank. It says that pay alone is insufficient to motivate teachers to teach differently and improve student achievement. Pay incentives ignore what teachers care most about.

The report found that what most teachers desire is the know-how to teach their subjects well and autonomy and supports to best meet the needs of their students. It says that expertise in teaching must be rewarded in ways that move beyond recruitment bonuses or pay for improved student test scores. Continue reading “Tapping Into What Makes Teachers Tick”

High Attrition from Teach for Australia

According to The Age (12 January 2012) nearly half of participants in the fast-track Teach for Australia program are no longer teaching after two years. Only 56% of those who entered the program are still teaching after their initial two-year commitment.

Of the 45 graduates who began the two-year program in 2010, two dropped out in the first year, nine are going into another industry, nine are doing something else in the education field, such as a master’s of teaching, and 25 remain teaching.

This is a very high attrition rate. It far exceeds the attrition rate of new teachers entering the profession through traditional teacher training. Continue reading “High Attrition from Teach for Australia”

Wide-ranging Report on Improving the Schools Workforce

A wide-ranging report on the schools workforce by the Productivity Commission proposes that governments should make more use of higher pay to attract teachers to hard-to-staff subjects and schools but defer introduction of the national performance bonus scheme for teachers. It also says that education disadvantage is a high priority for school workforce reforms and calls for a comprehensive evaluation of programs that target disadvantaged students. Continue reading “Wide-ranging Report on Improving the Schools Workforce”