No Kidding? Really?

From the back of the NSS files, I bring you this article in The Seattle Times. The core of the study is this:

It [the study] found that students whose teachers were offered bonuses of up to $15,000 a year for improved test scores registered the same gains on standardized exams as those whose teachers were given no such incentives.

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. I only know that teachers and their supporters have been saying this same thing for years, and no one listened. This entire study and situation reminds of this other “No Duh” Study of a few years ago.

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4 thoughts on “No Kidding? Really?

  1. Jordan

    Wow. It’s really kind of a slap in the face that a study needed to determine this. It that teachers are lazy, only doing the bare minimum in their classrooms and holding all their “good teaching” in until they can squeeze some more money out of the government. Maybe there are teachers out there who can’t be bothered to put forth too much effort, but the majority of teachers I know have too much respect for the sanctity of education to sacrifice their students’ academic advancement in the quest for a few thousand dollars.

    On the other hand, offering students (or their parents, for that matter), a big bonus for improved test scores, might get you somewhere.

    I find it telling that the authors of this study assume that students/parents are working their hardest to get the best test scores possible, but teachers…well, they could be doing a little more.

    Reply
    1. drpezz Post author

      Some schools have paid students for grades, and the same trend occurs: initial gains, a plateau, and then declines. If the rewards do not increase over time, the students lose interest. Plus, making rewards external rather than internal dooms the incentive process.

      Reply

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