Thursday, December 27, 2012

Education Research: Merit Pay, Charter Schools and Value Added Models

What we did and didn’t learn from education research in 2012
This Washington Post article popped up on my Twitter PLN feed the other day while I was in the middle of holiday preparation and case study reviews. I knew I wanted to revisit it because of the subject, education research.   The article,  by Matthew Di Carlo, senior fellow at the non-profit Albert Shanker Institute was originally online at
While you should read the whole article, there are a couple of areas that are worth noting as at least I rarely read about education research about teachers!  Much of this year's research was on three “core areas” – merit pay, charter schools, and the use of value-added-growth-models in teacher evaluations. 
  1. In the area of merit pay, cconsistent with prior research, there were no discernible effects on testing outcomes with individual or school-wide bonus programs; but, there was some impact on teacher retention.
  2. In the area of charter schools, looking at the mechanisms that contribute to inconsistent performance of these schools is critical, not only for guiding the authorization of new charters, but also, more importantly, for improving all school.
  3. In the value-added model in teacher evaluations – 2012 might be remembered as the year in which a second batch of teacher-level value-added scores were published in a major newspaper. they had in their classes.  It is interesting to me that there IS a LOT of research going on in this area; yet nothing, so far, is a clear model.  (see here and herehere, here, and here, for example).


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