I Am Furious, and It Keeps Me Running. By Diane Ravitch

You asked what keeps me running, which I assume means how I find the energy to stay on the road week after week, speaking to teachers, parents, school board members, and concerned citizens. These days, I am running because of an inner rage at the attacks on teachers and public education. I see one of… Read more »

Why won’t Congress admit NCLB failed? By Monty Neill

The 2010 Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup poll on U.S. schools reminds us that Americans do not believe that the federal No Child Left law helps improve education. The 2008 Kappa survey found that four out of five people think classroom-based evidence of student learning, such as grades, teacher observations, or samples of student work (the most… Read more »

Merit Pay Fails Another Test. By Diane Ravitch

One of the signature issues of businesspeople and conservative Republicans for the past 30 years has been merit pay. They believe in competition, and they believe that financial rewards can be used to incentivize better performance, so it seems natural for them to conclude that merit pay or performance pay would incentivize teachers to produce… Read more »

Turning schools into robot factories. By Joanne Yatvin

I never miss reading the newspaper comics. Not for entertainment, but because I think their creators are some of the most intelligent and well-informed people on the public scene. As a group, they have mastered the subtleties of language, politics, philosophy, and human behavior. Right about now I am struck by how many comics are… Read more »

Published Online: September 21, 2010 Merit Pay Found to Have Little Effect on Achievement By Stephen Sawchuk

The most rigorous study of performance-based teacher compensation ever conducted in the United States shows that a nationally watched bonus-pay system had no overall impact on student achievement—results released today that are certain to set off a firestorm of debate. Nearly 300 middle school mathematics teachers in Nashville, Tenn., voluntarily took part in the Project… Read more »

Testing and miseducation. by Dr. Joseph A. Ricciotti

As we approach the beginning of a new school year, we find that education is in a crisis primarily due to the standardized testing mania that currently exists in the country. Teachers and parents need to ask themselves if the emphasis on testing and the time devoted to test preparation is helping to improve education,… Read more »

We Must Shift From Teacher Quality to Teaching Quality By Joseph Wise

Remarkable transformations in pre-K-12 education have occurred over the past 30 years; some have actually enriched schools and school systems by implementing systemic efficiencies. Others have served to heighten awareness of all that effective teaching actually entails. But many have been devastating. They have weakened the work being done in pre-K-12 classrooms, and set in… Read more »

Should test scores be used AT ALL for teacher evaluation? By Valerie Strauss

Earlier this week a major report was released (pdf) saying that “value-added” formulas based on standardized test scores to evaluate teachers are unreliable and should not be used as a major factor in teacher assessment. “Value-added modeling” has become the new big phrase in the education world. Essentially, it means measures that use test scores… Read more »

Merit Pay or Team Accountability? By Kim Marshall

It’s time to admit that the idea of evaluating and paying individual teachers based on their students’ test scores is a loser. This logical-sounding strategy for improving teaching and learning sinks for multiple reasons: practical (standardized-test results arrive months after teachers are evaluated each spring); psychometric (these tests aren’t valid for one-shot assessments of individual… Read more »

Dear President Obama…Sincerely, Parents Across America

Dear President Obama: Several weeks ago, we wrote to you about our concern that your proposed “Blueprint for Reform” did not acknowledge the critical role parents must play in any meaningful school improvement process. We also expressed our serious reservations about some of the Blueprint’s strategies. Our goal is simple – to ensure that our… Read more »