The headline of this post is a feeble attempt at mimicking Bob Dylan’s “Blowing In The Wind,” and refers to yet another failed attempt by Roland Fryer in his seemingly limitless capacity to try to prove that extrinsic motivation works.

Headlined “New York Incentive Program for Teachers Falls Flat” in The Harvard Business Review, he states:

As global policy makers and school leaders look for ways to improve student performance, financial incentives programs for teachers have become increasingly popular. This article describes a school-based randomized trial in over 200 New York City public schools designed to better understand the impact of teacher incentives. I find no evidence that teacher incentives increase student performance, attendance, or graduation, nor do I find evidence that these incentives change student or teacher behavior. If anything, teacher incentives may decrease student achievement, especially in larger schools. The article concludes with a speculative discussion of theories to explain these stark results.


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