This editorial will appear in Monday’s print edition.
Critics of school and teacher accountability are finding a little too much validation in a recent study of merit pay.
The study, conducted by Vanderbilt University’s National Center on Performance Incentives and billed as the first scientifically rigorous test of merit pay, was the result of a three-year experiment in Nashville schools.
About 300 middle school math teachers volunteered for the trial. About half were paid a set stipend for participating. The other half had a crack at bonuses of up to $15,000 if their student’s test scores improved.
The result: On the whole, students in the control group’s classrooms didn’t learn more than the students taught by teachers eligible for the extra money.