Teachers earn more money if they complete a master’s degree, yet there’s no evidence they teach any better. Should the stipend be spent elsewhere, asks the Dallas Morning News.
“If we pay for credentials, teachers have an incentive to seek and schools have an incentive to provide easy credentials,” said Arthur Levine, a researcher who once headed Columbia University’s Teachers College. “If, on the other hand, we only pay for performance, teachers have an incentive to seek and schools have an incentive to provide excellent training.”
. . . A roundup published in 2003 by The Economic Journal, a publication of the international Royal Economic Society, unearthed 170 relevant studies. Of those, 15 concluded that master’s programs helped teachers, nine found they hurt them, and 146 found no effect.
In a very large study, Texas looked for correlations between student performance and teachers with master’s degrees.
“They’re worthless. Case closed. Next question,” said Eric Hanushek, a senior project researcher who also works at Stanford University.
A majority of U.S. teachers now hold a master’s degree and they’re not eager to change the system.