Performance Enhancement

Like in academia, it pays in politics to dig directly into the source material. If you have a few spare hours, take time to review the President’s proposed education budget (pdf). As Eduwonk pointed out earlier, the budget proposes serious cuts that run counter to the Administration’s support for NCLB.

One item seems to have survived the chopping block: the Administration proposes to more than double the Teacher Incentive Fund from $97 million to $200 million. The fund supports “the development of performance-based compensation systems that reward teachers and principals who are raising student achievement and closing the achievement gap.”

Specifically the proposed funding:
“shall be for competitive grants to local educational agencies, including charter schools that are local educational agencies, or States, or partnerships of: (1) a local educational agency, a State, or both; and (2) at least one non-profit organization to develop and implement performance-based teacher and principal compensation systems in high-need schools: Provided further, That such performance-based compensation systems must consider gains in student academic achievement as well as classroom evaluations conducted multiple times during each school year among other factors and provide educators with incentives to take on additional responsibilities and leadership roles.”

Sounds like a reasonable approach, but you never know who might object to seemingly reasonable proposals.

– Guestblogger Michael Robbins

Update: Don’t forget about this recent Education Sector report for recommendations (and more questions) on performance evaluation.

One Reply to “Performance Enhancement”

  1. Unfortunately, they are not putting money into the development of tests that have the appropriate psychometric properties for researchers to conduct value-added analyses that are valid and reliable.

    We have districts stumbling all over each other in a rush to adopt some performance incentive plan, yet they are not talking the time to determine if (a) the tests have the correct psychometric properties and (b)whether the methodology employed is defensible.

    Just wait until the first lawsuit against one of these poorly designed systems! Then all this work will come to a screeching halt because policymakers rushed into this.

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