New twist on bonuses for teachers.

August 2, 2012

New twist on bonuses for teachers: Give the money at the start of the school year—but yank it back if students underperform. In nine kindergarten-through eighth-grade schools in Chicago Heights, Ill., 150 teachers took part in the experiment. Some teachers got $4,000 in a lump sum at the start of the school year, but they were told they’d lose some or all of the money if their students didn’t improve sufficiently. Others were simply offered a traditional bonus, also $4,000 payable at year’s end.

The standard bonuses had little to no effect, but students taught by teachers who got the advance bonus improved their relative standing on a math best by 6.8 to 9.6 percentile points—an effect similar to that of cutting class size by a third.

Findings from: “Enhancing the Efficacy of Teacher Incentives Through Loss Aversion: A Field Experiment”

Parental expectations are key to a child’s success in school.

July 26, 2012

Charter Schools, schools that are publically funded but independently managed, are often a lightening rod in the perennial debate on how to provide quality education for all children, regardless of race and economics. To shed some light on the issues, I recommend two recent articles from The Economist. http://www.economist.com/node/21558255 and http://www.economist.com/node/21558265 I believe that all […]


Words have power

July 17, 2012

A recent article in the WSJ, ‘Taco Bell’s Canon” noted that students who don’t read sometimes have hilarious notions of how the written language represents what they hear. Here are a few examples of how words are erroneously used by some of these students. ~ One guy admitted that he had trouble getting into “the […]


Children need a dose of Dr. Seuss & Dr. Einstein

July 6, 2012

Giving children down time is akin to giving children the good nutrition they need to grow and thrive. The Fourth of July signifies summer is here. For so many families, unstructured time and lazy summer days are a fantasy. Children today are more over scheduled than ever before and the end of the school year […]


How to attract the best teachers into the profession.

June 27, 2012

The need to elevate the teaching profession is a fact. Recently I read a piece from the founder of The Harlem Village Academies, a charter network consisting of five schools, which bears noting. She spoke of the importance of having the conditions of accountability and freedom in a school environment. Teachers who have a good […]


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