This study has been completed.
December 2009 – December 2017
Mathematica Policy Research
The purpose of the Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) program and its successor, the Teacher and School Leader (TSL) Incentive program, is to develop and implement performance-based compensation systems for teachers, principals, and other personnel in high-need schools to improve student achievement.
This mandated evaluation was of 62 TIF grants awarded to school districts in fiscal year 2010 totaling approximately $600 million. The 2010 grant competition required four core program components: (i) measures of educator effectiveness that use student achievement growth and at least two observations by trained observers, (ii) a pay-for-performance bonus based on educators performance on the effectiveness measures, (iii) bonus pay opportunities for educators to take on additional roles or responsibilities, and (iv) professional development to help educators understand the measures being used to evaluate as well as to improve their performance. The evaluation primarily focused on the impact of the pay-for-performance component of 10 grantees that agreed to participate in a random assignment evaluation.
In 2010, the grant competition included a separate competition for districts that were willing to participate in an impact study. The study schools in each of 10 grantee districts were randomly assigned to either implement all components of TIF or replace the pay-for-performance component of TIF with a 1% across-the-board bonus.
Data collection included a district survey of all 62 TIF grantees from 2010 to document the implementation of their performance-based compensation systems and the following data collection for schools participating in the random assignment study: teacher and principal surveys to document their understanding and experience with TIF; teacher and principal school assignment records to look at mobility and retention; student administrative records to look at student outcomes; and grantee interviews to obtain more detailed information about their TIF program. Data were collected over the course of four years and used to document annual implementation (the first and second research questions), as well as to conduct impact analyses (the third and fourth research questions).
The final report for TIF, titled Evaluation of the Teacher Incentive Fund: Final Report on Implementation and Impacts of Pay-for-Performance Across Four Years was released in December 2017.
Other publications from this study are listed below.
Reports on the Implementation and Impact of TIF
A restricted-use file containing de-identified data is available for the purposes of replicating study findings and secondary analysis.