Few issues in education are as polarising as proposals to introduce “pay for performance” for teachers. This blog is not an attempt to persuade you that such proposals are right or that they are wrong. Rather, it is a plea for us all to pause, unpack the question, and appreciate that arguments about the external validity and contextual nature of “the evidence” cut both ways.
Why do some students learn more in some schools than others? In the last two decades, standardized learning assessments such as PISA, ERCE, and TIMMS have helped us understand the state of student learning in education systems across the world, and have documented substantial variation both across and within countries. While there are many contributing factors at system, school, and household-level, one consideration receiving growing attention is school management—the processes and practices used by principals day-to-day as they run their schools.