Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Diane Ravitch asks: "Are we in an age of National Stupidity or National Insanity?"

In her latest posting, The Great Accountability Hoax, Ravitch points out that the so-called "accountability" policies being promoted by the Billionaire Boy's Club, the foundations, and now the Obama administration are a "great fraud and hoax, but our elected officials and policymakers remain completely oblivious to the harm caused by the policies they mandate."

Not only has the Chicago program of teacher merit pay proven to be ineffective, but a recent study shows that the similar NYC experiment that the administration spent $38 million on last year has shown no positive results:
"...we find little effect of the bonus program on student achievement in the first or second year of the program. We find no discernible effect on in-class or school-wide policies reported by students and teachers, such as additional tutoring sessions or increased use of student achievement data. Finally, we show that the bonus program had little effect on teacher turnover or the qualifications of newly hired teachers."
Roland Fryer's much bally-hooed experiments with paying kids for good test scores also failed miserably.

Nevertheless, the US Dept. of Education insists on increasing funding for merit pay through the Teacher Incentive Fund program to $900 million next year!

It appears that no amount of negative results will stop the privateers from continuing to promote their wasteful experiments on our kids in the name of "accountability," without acknowledging how their own behavior exhibits a failure of both financial and moral accountability.

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