Train Teachers as Education Researchers Says OECD Report

The most successful countries in school education make teaching an attractive, high status profession, and provide training for teachers to become educational innovators and researchers who have responsibility for reform. These were among key findings presented last month at the International Summit on the Teaching Profession in New York. Continue reading “Train Teachers as Education Researchers Says OECD Report”

Teacher Performance Pay is Another Stunning Joel Klein Failure

Julia Gillard’s hero, former New York City Schools Chancellor, Joel Klein left a legacy of failed school reforms. His school reporting scheme, which Gillard drew on as a model for My School, was claimed to be a huge success in improving student results. However, it was revealed last year that the improvements were a sham, being driven by lower pass standards.

Now it has been revealed that his $75 million teacher performance pay scheme which he described as “transcendent” when introduced in 2007 was also a stunning failure. Continue reading “Teacher Performance Pay is Another Stunning Joel Klein Failure”

Teachers are More Likely to Transfer from Schools with Low Results

A recent paper published by the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University in Chicago shows that teachers are more likely to leave schools with falling results than schools whose results do not change or increase. Furthermore, it is the higher quality teachers who are more likely to transfer to another school as a result of falling school results.

The results point to a major challenge facing struggling schools: low average results lead to high teacher turnover; good teachers leaving leads to worse results and a spiral of decline that often leads to school closure. Continue reading “Teachers are More Likely to Transfer from Schools with Low Results”

Another Study Shows that Teacher Performance Pay Doesn’t Raise Test Scores

Teacher performance pay has taken another battering from a new study published this week. It demonstrates that the Gillard Government’s plan to pay cash bonuses to the best performing teachers in Australia is unlikely to improve student results and will be a complete waste of money. Continue reading “Another Study Shows that Teacher Performance Pay Doesn’t Raise Test Scores”

Expert Report Slams Value-Added Ratings of Teachers

Value-added ratings of teachers have been slammed in a new report by education measurement experts in the United States.

The report says that the ratings are highly error-prone, will lead to unreliable and unfair assessments and will have significant harmful consequences. It says that they should not be used as a major factor in teacher assessment and calls for a more comprehensive approach to teacher evaluation. Continue reading “Expert Report Slams Value-Added Ratings of Teachers”

The Research Consensus on Value-Added Ratings of Teachers

Statisticians, psychometricians, and economists who have studied the use of test scores for high-stakes teacher evaluation, including its most sophisticated form, value-added modelling (VAM), mostly concur that such use should be pursued only with great caution.

Among the concerns raised by researchers are the prospects that value-added methods can mis-identify both successful and unsuccessful teachers and, because of their instability and failure to disentangle other influences on learning, can create confusion about the relative sources of influence on student achievement. Continue reading “The Research Consensus on Value-Added Ratings of Teachers”

League Tables of Teachers Published

A huge controversy has erupted in the United States about the publication of “value added” ratings of teachers by the Los Angeles Times. Last weekend, the Times published a league table of the top 100 elementary school teachers in the LA school district. It also published “value added” ratings of 6000 teachers and 470 schools which can be accessed through a search facility on the Times website. Continue reading “League Tables of Teachers Published”

Curriculum Matters as Well as Teachers

With the prospect of teacher bonuses to be paid on the basis of gains in student achievement the measurement of “value added” by teachers has become a critical issue. Just how easy is it to measure the value added of each individual teacher?

This issue is being much debated in academic circles in the United States, especially in the light of President Obama’s Race to the Top program which requires the states to introduce performance pay based on student achievement. The answer so far is that while it sounds great in theory, there are insurmountable barriers to effective and reliable measurement of teacher performance. Continue reading “Curriculum Matters as Well as Teachers”

Measures of Value Added by Teachers and Schools Have Large Errors

A new report released at the end of July by the National Centre for Education Evaluation, a division of the US Department of Education, has serious implications for Labor and Liberal plans to identify the best performing teachers and schools in Australia and give them cash bonuses.

It shows that a large proportion of the payments could go to the wrong teachers and the wrong schools. Highly performing teachers and schools could be overlooked and average teachers and schools wrongly rated as highly effective. Continue reading “Measures of Value Added by Teachers and Schools Have Large Errors”

Duels of Faith in Teacher Bonuses

This is an abridged version of an Education Research Brief published by Save Our Schools. It can be downloaded below. 

Labor and the Liberals are duelling over teacher bonuses as the “way forward” in education policy. Both will implement bonus schemes without regard to the evidence that teacher bonuses appear to have little impact on student achievement. Both parties are acting out of faith and the result is likely to be a huge waste of money. All they will do is encourage more teaching to the test and artificial inflation of test scores. Continue reading “Duels of Faith in Teacher Bonuses”