Teacher study fails the test : why a plan to link performance to remuneration is flawed
There is little debate about the need to place more value on teachers' work, for example by providing substantial pay rises to teachers as they attain higher standards of performance. This is unlikely to happen, however, unless we become better at evaluating teacher performance in ways that are valid, reliable and fair. Recent research by Andrew Leigh has been widely reported as demonstrating that the best teachers can be readily identified, and have been shown to be twice as effective as the worst teachers. Dr Leigh stated that he 'has shown how to estimate a measure of teacher performance by using panel data with two test scores per student'. The authors of this article examine Dr Leigh's research and conclude that the approach used cannot be translated into a viable and legally defensible system for assessing the performance of individual teachers, as claimed. The danger with Dr Leigh's paper is that it promises much more than it can deliver. It will be interpreted by some as evidence that there is a simple solution to the challenge of linking teachers' pay to performance. A defensible teacher evaluation scheme must be based on a clear understanding about what is reasonable to hold a teacher accountable for. The appropriate basis for gathering evidence about a teacher's performance is a set of professional standards that describe the full scope of what a teacher is expected to know and be able to do.
Glenn Rowley and Lawrence Ingvarson. "Teacher study fails the test : why a plan to link performance to remuneration is flawed" Education Age Jun. 2007: 16.
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