New Merit Pay Study Hits The Wrong Target
Matthew G. Springer, an assistant professor of public policy and education at Vanderbilt University, has produced a meta-analysis (that's research of the research) entitled "Teacher Merit Pay and Student Test Scores: A Meta-Analysis" in which he concludes that merit pay is connected to increased student test scores. Springer is also the director of the National Center on Performance Incentives,"a national research and development center for state and local policy" housed by Vanderbilt (he's actually had that job longer than his professor position).
During the past several decades, policymakers have grown increasingly interested in innovative compensation plans, including performance-based pay for K-12 educators. Yet, efforts to reform pay have lacked grounding in a scholarly base of knowledge regarding the effectiveness of such plans.
So I'm not sure whether the center's mission is "see if this stuff works" so much as it is "prove this stuff works," which is a somewhat less objective mission. And Springer does some worjk outside of Vanderbilt as well, like his post on the advisory board of Texas Aspires, where he sits with Rick Hess (AEI), Mike Petrilli (Fordham), Erik Haushek (Hoover Institute), Chris Barbic (Reformster-at-Large, now apparently with Arnold Foundation)and other reformy types.
Springer certainly has some ideas about teacher pay:
"The bottom line is the single-salary pay schedule does not allow systems to reward the highest performing teachers," Springer said. "These teachers deserve a six-figure salary, but we'll never get about a piece of research, a working paper thatCURMUDGUCATION: New Merit Pay Study Hits The Wrong Target: