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A master can tell you what he expects of you. A teacher, though, awakens your own expectations. —Patricia Neal


Kelley speaks with Clarion-Ledger about Mississippi teacher merit pay proposal

January 12, 2017

The Clarion-Ledger newspaper out of Jackson, Mississippi, recently published a report examining proposed teacher merit pay legislation in that state.

And among the experts the Clarion-Ledger turned to in an effort to put this topic in perspective is UW-Madison’s Carolyn Kelley, a professor with the School of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis.

Carolyn Kelley
Although the report notes that it’s not yet clear how, exactly, the legislation will be implemented, Kelley explains to the newspaper that the research on whether merit pay incentive programs actually improve schools and student outcomes is mixed. In addition, Kelley tells the Clarion-Ledger that incentive programs can have the unintended effect of drawing teachers to higher-performing districts where they know they stand to collect a bonus.

The report adds: “Kelley said it's important when having a merit pay system to know whether educators have supports in place for achievement such as professional development. Writers of reward polices, she explained, sometimes simplify the matter.”

To learn more about Kelley’s thoughts on this topic and the merit pay proposals under consideration in Mississippi, check out the entire newspaper article for free on this Clarion-Ledger web page.

In addition to her role as a faculty member with the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, Kelley also serves as the School of Education’s Senior Associate Dean for Academic Programs.

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