November 6, 2007

What not to do on pay-for-performance

A new report on pay-for-performance plans (by Joan Baratz-Snowden) was released by the Center on American Progress, and if you strip out all the political and other analysis, here's the gist of the report: We know what not to do on pay for performance. That's important: I'm glad to see my state described as the poster child for ill-advised impositions (we've had several), but Baratz-Snowden's acknowledgment of the thinness of research is reflected in her references, which have only a handful of refereed articles or other similarly-reviewed research papers. That's not her fault: it reflects the simple fact that there is little professional research documenting salutary effects of any pay-for-performance policies (regardless of details). Until we get something on that order, any prescriptions for what to do in a positive sense is foolhardy, let alone inserting any oxymoronic phrase like "proven" strategies into NCLB (from the Miller-McKeon draft language on performacne pay). It's a little tough to mandate "proven strategies" on performance pay when there aren't any.

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Posted in Accountability Frankenstein on November 6, 2007 8:40 AM |