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A Think Twice Review of:

Paying the Best Teachers More to Teach More Students

Think Twice - Apr 13, 2015

Publisher/Think Tank - Edunomics Lab at Georgetown University

Author(s) - Marguerite Roza and Amanda Warco

A recent report from the Edunomics Lab at Georgetown University proposed that school districts pay top performing teachers a bonus for accepting additional students into their existing classes. The report claimed that larger classes and reductions to the teaching force would create significant savings. According to the report, districts should pay teachers in the top quartile a bonus for increasing their class size by up to three students. The report considers that students working with more effective teachers would offset any potential sacrifice in student learning.

Reviewer(s) - Patricia H. Hinchey, Penn State University

An academic review of the report finds that the report is largely unsubstantiated, ignores what is known about teacher pay, and fails to offer guidance for policymaking. In her review, Penn State’s Patricia Hinchey finds that the report: (1) ignores the technical problem of how the best teachers might be reliably identified; (2) neglects a strong research base that has established a link between class size and student learning; and (3) misrepresents what is known about teacher pay, teacher attitudes, and teacher job satisfaction.