Studies show merit pay performance disaster

The US Department of Education listed 3 new studies into teacher merit pay. All 3 studies looked at the NYC merit pay system and concluded that is has been a disaster for student performance.

Study 1 : “Teacher Incentives and Student Achievement: Evidence from New York City Public Schools”

Here's what they found

Study authors reported that the bonus program had statistically significant negative impacts on middle school achievement in math (author-reported effect size of –0.05) and English language arts (effect size of –0.03). In addition, the authors reported a statistically significant difference of –4.4 percentage points in high school graduation rates, reflecting lower graduation rates among students in intervention schools.

The study found that the teacher performance bonus program had no statistically significant impacts on elementary school achievement or teacher retention.

Study 2:Teacher Incentive Pay and Educational Outcomes: Evidence from the New York City Bonus Program

Here's what they found

The study found that the offer of a schoolwide teacher performance bonus program did not have a statistically significant effect on students’ reading achievement in either 2007–08 or 2008–09 or on mathematics achievement in 2007–08. For 2008–09, study authors reported a very small, but statistically significant, negative effect of the bonus program on mathematics achievement.

Study 3: A Big Apple for Educators: New York City’s Experiment with Schoolwide Performance Bonuses. Final Evaluation Report

Here's what they found

The study found that the New York City Schoolwide Performance Bonus Program had no discernible impact on school Progress Report scores.

Merit pay doesn't work, every study that has looked into the issue has found the same troubling results. Why then do corporate reformers continue to pursue the idea?