Indiana University SPEA Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy University of Pennsylvania AIR American University

Panel Paper: Evaluation of the Teacher Incentive Fund: Implementation and Impacts of Pay-for-Performance after Two Years

Thursday, November 12, 2015 : 9:10 AM
Flamingo (Hyatt Regency Miami)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Hanley Chiang, Alison Wellington, Kristin C. Hallgren, Cecilia Speroni, Mariesa Herrmann, Steven Glazerman and Jill Constantine, Mathematica Policy Research
Recent efforts to attract and retain effective educators and to improve teaching practices have focused on reforming evaluation and compensation systems for teachers and principals. In 2006, Congress established the Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF), which provides grants to support performance-based compensation systems for teachers and principals in high-need schools. The TIF grants have two goals: (1) reform compensation systems to reward educators for improving student achievement and (2) increase the number of high-performing teachers in high-need schools and hard-to-staff subject areas. The incentives and support offered through TIF grants aim to improve student achievement by improving educator effectiveness and the quality of the teacher workforce.

This is the second of four planned reports from a multiyear study for the U.S. Department of Education focusing on the TIF grants awarded in 2010. The first report (Max et al. 2014) examined grantees’ implementation experiences and educators’ perceptions of the program near the end of the first year of program implementation, before the first pay-for-performance bonuses were awarded to teachers and principals. This second report examines grantees’ implementation experiences and educators’ understanding of, and attitudes toward, the program near the end of the second year of program implementation, as well as changes in educators’ understanding and attitudes. This report also examines the impacts of pay-for-performance bonuses on educator effectiveness and student achievement after one and two years of TIF implementation. The report focuses on a subset of 2010 TIF grantees. These grantees include 10 districts that are participating in a random assignment evaluation and completed two years of TIF implementation, the 2011–2012 and 2012–2013 school years.

The report focuses on the following 4 research questions:

  1. What are the characteristics of all TIF districts and their performance-based compensation systems? What implementation experiences and challenges did TIF districts encounter?
  2. How do teachers and principals in schools that did or did not offer pay-for-performance bonuses compare on key dimensions, including their understanding of TIF program features, exposure to TIF activities, allocation of time, and attitudes toward teaching and the TIF program?
  3. How do pay-for-performance bonuses affect educator effectiveness and the retention and recruitment of high-performing educators?
  4. What is the impact of pay-for-performance bonuses on students' achievement on state assessments in math and reading?

Full Paper: