Why did merit pay fail in New York City?

04/3/2011 | Wall Street Journal, The

Four years after New York City launched a test of merit pay for teachers, studies have found the bonuses have had no effect on student achievement. The city recently suspended the program, and officials and teachers union leaders are divided over what caused merit pay to fail. Supporters of merit pay say its effectiveness was lessened because the bonuses were awarded in most cases to the entire school, rather than the teachers who improved achievement. Union officials, however, say teachers received no support to improve achievement other than the promise of bonus pay.

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