Review of Cross-Country Evidence on Teacher Performance

Matthias von Davier, National Education Policy Center, Apr 22, 2011
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Ludger Woessmann has made a name for himself by reinterpreting PISA studies and reaching conclusions friendly to a certain political perspective on education. In 2004 he argued that PISA shows that computers harmed educational outcomes, small class sizes have no impact on educational outcome, private schools have a positive impact, and so do standardized exams. Which is ridiculous, and I analyzed his study to explain exactly why. With the latest PISA study comes another Woessmann analysis (summary) and another set of corporate reform-friendly conclusions, this time to the effect that is that nations "that pay teachers on their performance score higher on PISA tests." Matthias von Davier's review of Woessmann's study reaches the unsurprising (in my opinion) conclusion that "drawing policy conclusions about teacher performance pay on the basis of this analysis is not warranted."
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