Interesting research showing that merit pay and evaluations can improve student results, 4 months of learning is a really big deal
The researchers find that 46% of low-performing teachers in D.C. leave each year, which is more than three times the attrition rate of high-performers. It turns out that the mere threat of removal encourages many low-scorers to quit or shape up, and those who leave are generally replaced with better teachers.This churn in the teacher workforce improved annual student learning by four months in reading and math, a significant improvement. The researchers note “that a disproportionate share of low-performing teacher exits are from high-poverty schools.” In other words, tougher evaluations help poor kids the most. Notably, studies also reveal that union seniority and layoff rules disproportionately harm poor kids by concentrating inexperienced and weak teachers in low-income schools. States and school districts, take note.