Study finds Texas teacher merit pay did little

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) _ Texas spent $300 million on merit pay for teachers in the past three years in an effort that led to few gains by students.

The National Center on Performance Incentives reviewed the now-defunct Texas Educator Excellence Grant. The Dallas Morning News reported Wednesday that researchers determined there was "no systematic evidence that TEEG had an impact on student achievement gains.''

Researchers examined reading scores on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills for more than 140,000 students. A spokeswoman for Gov. Rick Perry, Allison Castle, says he supports rewarding the best teachers through merit pay.

She says Perry worked with the Legislature to consolidate programs into one with an increase funding. Legislators provided nearly $200 million annually for another merit pay plan that began last year, District Awards for Teacher Excellence, or DATE.