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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Performance bonuses: DOE throws away money to benefit adults rather than our kids

In the DOE press release yesterday about the teacher performance pay program that will cost $20 million of taxpayer money this year, amidst budget cuts to schools, that are causing the loss of critical enrichment and intervention programs, Klein claimed that “The biggest winners, though, were the students in these high-needs schools, who received the instruction and support they needed to reach new levels of performance.”

Yet despite these encomiums, today’s Gotham schools has an analysis showing very little difference in test score gains between the elementary and middle schools participating in the program and schools throughout the city as a whole; and no difference at all for high schools.

Sure, teachers who are receiving the bonuses may be happy, but I wonder how many of them actually believe in the integrity or the efficacy of the program. See Gotham schools here: Teachers are happy with bonus program, but questions remain.

In short, another way in which this administration seems intent on throwing money away in ways that may benefit adults, but not our kids.


Anonymous said...

I can't imagine how happier, more fulfilled teachers wouldn't have an effect on their students. A set direction, a set of standards, builds a culture of accountability and responsibility, something our schools used to lack. We're facing tough times and tough decisions in NY, but I'd think that we want invest and support those we trust with our children's education.

Anonymous said...

Money is important but so are working conditions. In fact, working conditions may be more important than money in making a happier, more fulfilled teacher. Many teachers feel they could do a more effective job with fewer students.