Contractor: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.; Vanderbilt University
The Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) is authorized by Title V, Part D of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and annual appropriations acts. The purpose of the TIF program is to develop and implement performance-based compensation systems (PBCSs) for teachers, principals, and other personnel in high-need schools.
Research indicates that high quality teachers are critical to raising student achievement in low-performing schools, but schools most in need often have difficulty in attracting and retaining high-quality teachers. Performance pay is a policy promoted by the TIF program to improve the quality of educators in high-need schools. This evaluation studies performance pay that provides substantial and differentiated bonus pay to high-performing educators in low-performing schools with high-need students. The study will address the following:
The evaluation effort includes two separate teams: the implementation team to support fidelity of implementation to each grantee's proposed PBCS consistent with the evaluation study, and the evaluation team to rigorously study the PBCS policy. Study schools were randomly assigned within a grant to either implement all components of the performance based compensation system (PBCS) or the PBCS with a 1% across-the board bonus instead of the differentiated effectiveness incentive component of the PBCS. Data collection includes a district survey of all 2010 TIF grantees and the following data collection for schools participating in the random assignment study: teacher and principal surveys, teacher and principal school assignment records, student Record Information (such as student demographics and student test scores), and grantee interviews. Annual data collection will be used to document implementation information as well as to conduct impact analyses.
Cost/Duration: $13,700,000 over 6 1/2 years (December 2009–May 2017)
Current Status: Data analyses are underway for the third year of program implementation for a report to be released in fall 2016. The first report was released on September 16, 2014. (http://ies.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=NCEE20144019). The second report was released on September 24, 2015. (http://ies.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=NCEE20154020). Additional reports will be announced on http://ies.ed.gov/ncee.
Key Findings: The second report provides ongoing implementation information and initial impacts on student achievement and teacher retention.
The main findings among all TIF districts with 2010 awards are:
For the subset of 10 districts that agreed to participate in a random assignment study, key findings on the effect of pay-for-performance on educators include the following: