Press Releases | Education

News from EPI Merit pay is not a good fit for schools

The idea of tying teachers’ pay to their students’ math and reading scores is being promoted by some school policymakers as a way to improve schools’ performance. Advocates base their support on two assumptions: first, that such merit pay is widespread in the private sector, and second, that student test scores can be a reliable gauge of how well teachers are doing their jobs. Both assumptions, according to a new research report issued today by the Economic Policy Institute, are faulty.

In Teachers, Performance Pay, and Accountability: What Education Should Learn from Other Sectors Scott J. Adams, John S. Heywood and Richard Rothstein examine the evidence and conclude that merit pay systems based on quantitative measures are not – for good reason – widespread among private sector professionals and that such systems produce perverse consequences that often thwart the larger goal of improving the quality of services and outcomes.

Teachers, Performance Pay, and Accountability is being released on Thursday, May 14. Journalists can download the press release that summarizes the main findings and preview the full book, under embargo, on a password-protected web page: Just click here and enter the username and password as follows:

Username:  epimedia

Password:  preview9g4w3

If you prefer to receive a hard copy of the book, email your request and full mailing address to