Teacher merit pay and student test scores: a meta-analysis
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Lam Pham, Tuan D. Nguyen, and Professor Matthew G. Springer

Exploring the recent trend for teacher merit pay programmes in the USA, this academic study compiles and evaluates evidence from 44 primary studies investigating the association between teacher pay incentives and pupil test scores.

The researchers found that the presence of merit pay programmes is associated with a modest, but statistically significant, positive effect on pupil test scores. They also found that effect sizes are highly sensitive to programme design and study context, suggesting that while some merit pay programmes have the potential to improve pupils’ scores in some contexts, researchers and policy makers should pay close attention to how the programme is structured and implemented.

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Lam Pham, Tuan D. Nguyen, and Professor Matthew G. Springer

Published by:
Vanderbilt University

Date of publication:
April 2017

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This academic paper examines evidence on the association between teacher pay incentives (merit pay) and pupil test scores. It may interest school leaders who are keen to implement evidence-based policies. 



Record ID:
R372 / 479
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