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Study shows that teachers are not graded by student performance
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2010 13:59 PM

A study from Vanderbilt University found that merit pay for teachers may no longer depend on how students fare on standardized tests, reports Education Week.

Approximately 300 middle school math teachers took part in Project on Incentives in Teaching (POINT) over a course of three years. The randomized study was designed to reveal whether large monetary incentives would cause teachers to find better ways to boost student scores on standardized tests.

Research found that 85 percent of the participants said they felt the test-based criteria for determining effectiveness were too narrow.

“A lot of the discussion about performance pay is based on a faulty assumption that the reason we don’t have higher test scores is that teachers are shirking their responsibilities,” said Helen F. Ladd, a professor of public policy and economics at Duke University in Durham, N.C.

According to the National Center on Performance Incentive, of the 332 teachers who participated in the study, only 125 received a bonus of at least $5,000 based on their student's performance.