The Ohio Department of Education lists teaching “Plan and conduct simple investigations” as part of the K-4 required science curriculum. It’s basic, isn’t it?
If you want to grow bacteria, you take HALF the Petri dishes and put them in the basement in the dark. The other HALF goes in a control environment, maybe the kitchen counter where it can nauseate all members of the family more readily. Then you compare the results.
This is not difficult stuff. And yet…
According to PublicSchoolSpending.com (a fantastic blog on all things education spending), RAND Education, a unit of the RAND Corporation released a study which claims that merit pay had no effect on increasing either student achievement or teacher motivation.
Remember, “merit pay” is a proposed solution to our failing education system which suggests that incentivizing teacher performance will increase student achievement. Public schools are currently prevented from incentivizing teachers individually in any way. Their only criteria for income increases comes from staying alive. “Is your heart still beating Mrs. Smith – here’s an increase in pay!”
So this study suggests that after testing the merit pay system as a solution, that it had no effect on increasing either student achievement or teacher motivation. Hmmm, interesting.
The problem comes in when you take a look at the absolutely flawed process they used to create and run the study. Within the study in a majority of the cases, “incentive pay” was handed out equally to all teachers with no criteria based on performance. That’s right – they handed out merit pay to all teachers.
Click here to read more about the ridiculously flawed RAND Education merit pay study