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By Stephen Sawchuk | Ed Week
June 7, 2010
Preliminary results from schools taking part in a Chicago program containing performance-based compensation for teachers show no evidence that the program has boosted student achievement on math and reading tests, compared with a group of similar, nonparticipating schools, an analysis last week concludes.
The findings are notable not just for being at odds with other studies of the Teacher Advancement Program model, but also for the Chicago experiment’s unique background: During his tenure as chief executive officer of the district, Arne Duncan—now the U.S. secretary of education—oversaw the development of the initiative.
And through the economic-stimulus program’s Race to the Top and Teacher Incentive Fund competitions, the Obama administration has pushed states and districts to engage in changes to teacher-pay and -evaluation systems. Mr. Duncan has been a vocal supporter of the incentive-fund program, which provided some of the financing for the Chicago project.
The study by Mathematica Policy Research also found that the Chicago TAP, a local version of the national program, did not improve the rates of teacher retention in participating schools or in the district.