"Bear in mind that the wonderful things you learn in your schools are the work of many generations, produced by enthusiastic effort and infinite labor in every country of the world. All this is put into your hands as your inheritance in order that you may receive it, honor it, add to it, and one day faithfully hand it to your children. Thus do we mortals achieve immortality in the permanent things which we create in common." - Albert Einstein

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Performance-Based Bonus Is Now Cheating-Based Bonus (Public School Education in the Philippines)

Burgess and Ratto in "The Role of Incentives in the Public Sector: Issues and Evidence" enumerated three reasons provided by teachers' unions in the United Kingdom against Performance-Based Pay for public school teachers:

  • Teaching is multidimensional and aimed at much wider outcomes than exam results or test scores. 
  • Teaching involves team-based co-operation that is inconsistent with an individual Performance Related Pay scheme. 
  • Teachers are professionals and do not require financial incentives to induce effort. 


William Firestone of Rutgers University has reviewed past and current research in "Teacher Evaluation Policy and Conflicting Theories of Motivation" to determine how such incentives work in the United States. Firestone arrived at the following conclusion:



The benefits from a bonus system that rewards teachers based on students' scores on exams are indeed lacking. Whether one agrees or not with such system, it is clear that money can lead to unintended consequences. People can change their behavior when focused on monetary awards. It can lead to people overemphasizing the tasks that influence directly the measurements that decide who gets the bonus, creating a dysfunctional school environment. And in the Philippines, similar to some school districts in the United States where students' exam scores have been linked to teachers' pay, cheating is occurring:

A news network in the Philippines reports on cheating in the National Achievement Test
The results are out there with regard to how performance-based-pay schemes influence learning. It does not. The news is here. There is cheating, yet policy makers seem totally deaf and blind. The message from the public school teachers is crystal clear: Trash the performance-based-pay system of the Aquino administration.






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