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District diagnostics. Harvard's ed policy team went into Fulton County Schools near Atlanta, Georgia to "diagnose" the district's teacher quality woes and found the same trends as in many large urban districts. Somewhat surprisingly, however, high-performing, novice math teachers were more likely to stay in the district than their lower-performing peers or those teaching English/Language Arts. For more Fulton County-specific findings, check out the brief.

Performance pay pile-on. Yet another study questions the impact of performance pay on student learning. A paper from hip economist Roland Fryer examines a New York City incentive program, where teachers were awarded bonuses of up to $3,000 for improving student performance. He speculatively blames the sorry academic outcomes on the scheme's complexity, along with a few other problems with program design that you can read about here.