Merit pay, smarter kids, happier teachers?
Like they always say, maybe it's the water. Then again, maybe folks in Arkansas designed a teacher merit-pay plan that makes sense (as opposed to what many teachers in Florida think about MAP, son of STAR. See here.)
The latest stats in a multi-year study of Little Rock's Achievement Challenge Pilot Project – which offers teachers bonuses of as much as $11,000 (no, that's not a typo) and does not require them to compete against each other (no, that's not a typo, either) – found that students in the five participating elementary schools scored 9 percentile points higher in language, 6 percentile points higher in reading and nearly 7 percentile points higher in math last year than their peers in schools without merit pay.
On the flip side, a survey found some teachers weren’t as happy with the program this time around (though it's not really clear who's at fault.) To see the latest results, click here. To see the St. Petersburg Times profile on the program, click here. And to see just how happy some of the Little Rock teachers were last year, click here.
- Ron Matus, state education reporter