The Shanker Blog had a piece today reviewing recent research on Market-Based Education Reform. To summarize, the best evaluation of merit pay (by the National Center on Performance Incentives) found that bonuses did not cause teachers to raise student test scores. A similar study of Chicago’s TAP program came to a similar conclusion. Merit pay does not work.
Likewise, researchers have been repeatedly showing that charter schools do not perform better than traditional schools. Mathematica researchers found that charter schools did not have better test scores. An article in the American Journal of Education similarly found that charter school provided no advantage in terms of student achievement. Mathematica found large errors in studies touting the benefits of Value Added measurements of teacher quality.