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image of a magnifying glass National Research and Development Centers

Center:

NCER

Year:

2006

Principal Investigator:

Guthrie, James W.

Grantee:

Vanderbilt University

Program:

National Research and Development Centers [Program Details]

Award Period:

5 years

Award Amount:

$10,835,509

Goal:

Multiple Goals

National Center for Performance Incentives (Policy-NCPI)

Topic: Performance Incentives

Purpose: The purpose of the Center is to address a relatively new policy question in public education: Do financial incentives for teachers, administrators, and schools affect the quality of teaching and learning? And, can such comparisons be drawn fairly? For example, is there a misalignment between uniform salary schedules applicable to virtually all teachers within a school district and the concept of providing financial rewards to classroom teachers who significantly elevate students' academic achievement? The Center is conducting two randomized field trials (in Tennessee and Texas) and will conduct cost-effectiveness analyses of various incentive programs on both teacher behaviors and student outcomes.

Established through a five-year, $10.8 grant from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education, the research team includes experts in school organization and finance, leadership, teacher preparation and quality, research design, and value added statistical modeling. The Center's lead institution is Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, and is housed at Peabody College. Funding for the actual financial incentives is provided by foundations and other private philanthropic contributions.

Projects

Student Achievement — Individual Awards
The RCT in Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) focuses on middle school math teachers, who may receive a bonus between $5,000–$15,000 based upon student achievement gains in the 2005–06 school year. Teachers in the schools randomly assigned to the control condition are not eligible for the bonuses, but they do receive modest remuneration for their contribution to the study in filling out forms, and permitting classroom observation.

Student Achievement — Group Awards
The RCT in Round Rock Independent School District (RRISD) focuses on self-formed teams of four teachers representing the four core areas. Bonuses between $5,000–$10,000 per team member are based upon student achievement gains in the 2008–09 school year. Teachers in the schools randomly assigned to the control condition are not eligible for the bonuses, but they do receive modest remuneration for their contribution to the study in filling out forms, and permitting classroom observation.

Teacher Behavior
Changes in teacher practice and in teacher-student interaction in the classroom are a primary mechanism through which schools can influence student achievement. It is essential then to understand teacher behavior in response to performance incentives. The examination of pay-for-performance includes analysis of teachers' behavioral changes, with particular attention to modifications in their instructional, classroom, and other professional practices.

Organizational Dynamics
Researchers will examine the contextual factors within schools that could influence the potential effects of performance incentives on teacher behavior and student achievement. Research suggests that, to be effective, education reform efforts must balance demands with adequate support systems and provide high-quality information and assistance to participating educators. In terms of pay-for-performance, variation in teacher responses might arise from differences within and between schools, including the quality of school leadership and collegial interactions.

Unintended Consequences
A spectrum of unintended consequences affecting accountability and high-stakes testing policy has been documented. Examples include teachers focusing excessively on a single test, schools increasing special education placements and engaging in preemptive grade retention, and administrators and teachers altering test scores. NCPI will closely and systematically evaluate these phenomena and will seek both to minimize them and to examine any adverse effects stemming from the implementation of pay-for-performance programs.

Cost-Effectiveness
It is important to know the relative cost-effectiveness of performance incentives that impact on student achievement, teacher performance, and organizational dynamics, particularly when outcomes-based accountability in the education system is concerned. NCPI explores the costs and benefits of various teacher salary mechanisms, including the student achievement benefits associated with traditional compensation systems and those with pay-for-performance.

Various Other Projects
NCPI conducts various other research activities, such as regularly sharing information with the grantees of the federal Teacher Incentives program; assisting the Austin Independent School District's evaluate its pilot study of performance incentives; analyzing state and district data bases that contain information relevant to performance incentives; extending existing procedures for value-added modeling of teacher and school effects; and hosting research and practitioner conferences on performance incentives.

Key Personnel: James Guthrie, Matthew Springer, Dale Ballou, Timothy Caboni, Mark Ehlert, Bonnie Ghosh-Dastidar, Timothy Gronberg, Laura Hamilton, Janet Hansen, Chris Hulleman, Brian Jacob, Dennis Jansen, Cory Koedel, Vi-Nhuan Le, Jessica Lewis, J.R. Lockwood, Daniel McCaffrey, Patrick McEwan, Shawn Ni, Michael Podgursky, Brian Stecher, Lori Taylor.

Center Website: http://www.performanceincentives.org/.

IES Program Contact: Dr. Allen Ruby
Email: Allen.Ruby@ed.gov
Telephone: (202) 219-1591

Publications from this project:

Journal Articles

Costrell, R., and Mcgee, J. (2010). Teacher Pensions Incentives, Retirement Behavior, and Potential for Reform in Arkansas. Education Finance and Policy, 5 (4): 492–518.

Costrell, R., and Podgursky, M. (2010). Distribution of Benefits in Teacher Retirement Systems and Their Implications for Mobility. Education Finance and Policy, 5 (4): 519–557.

Friedberg, L., and Turner, S. (2010). Labor Market Effects of Pensions and Implications for Teachers. Education Finance and Policy, 5 (4), 463–491.

Hansen, J. S. (2010). An Introduction to Teacher Retirement Benefits. Education Finance and Policy, 5 (4): 402–437.

Hess, F. M., and Squire, J.P. (2010). “But the Pension Fund Was Just SITTING There…”: The Politics of Teacher Retirement Plans. Education Finance and Policy, 5 (4): 587–616.

Podgursky, M., and Springer, M.G. (2007). Teacher Performance Pay: A Review. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 26 (4): 909–949.

Podgursky, M., and Springer, M.G. (2008). Credentials Versus Performance: Review of the Teacher Performance Pay Research. Peabody Journal of Education, 82 (4): 551–573.

Books

Springer, M.G (Ed.), (2009). Performance Incentives: Their Growing Impact on American K–12 Education. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press.

Technical Reports and Monographs

Booker, K., and Glazerman, K. (2008) Does the Missouri Career Ladder Program Raise Student Achievement? Princeton, NJ: Mathematica Policy Research.

Burns, S.F., Gardner, C.D., and Meeuwsen, J. (2009). An Interim Evaluation of Teacher and Principal Experiences During the Pilot Phase of AISD REACH: Policy Evaluation Report. Nashville, TN: National Center on Performance Incentives.

Springer, M.G., Ballou, D., Hamilton, L., Le, V., Lockwood, J.R., McCaffrey, D., Pepper, M., and Stecher, B. (2010). Teacher Pay for Performance: Experimental Evidence from the Project on Incentives in Teaching. Evanston, IL: Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness.

Springer, M.G., Lewis, J.L., Podgursky, M.J., Ehlert, M.W., Gronberg, T.J., Hamilton, L.S., Jansen, D.W., Stecher, B.S., Taylor, L.L., Lopez, O.S., and Peng, A. (2009). Texas Educator Excellence Grant (TEEG) Program: Year Three Evaluation. Nashville, TN: National Center on Performance Incentives.

Springer, M.G., Lewis, J.L., Podgursky, M.J., Ehlert, M.W., Taylor, L.L., Lopez, O.S., and Peng, A. (2008). Governor's Educator Excellence Grant (GEEG) Program: Year Two Evaluation. Nashville, TN: National Center on Performance Incentives.

Springer, M.G., Lewis, J.L., Podgursky, M.J., Ehlert, M.W., Taylor, L.L., Lopez, O.S., and Peng, A. (2009). Governor's Educator Excellence Grant (GEEG) Program: Year Three Evaluation. Nashville, TN: National Center on Performance Incentives.

Springer, M.G., Podgurksy, M., Lewis, J.L., Ehlert, M.W., Gardner, C.D., Ghosh-Dastidar, B., Lopez, O., Patterson, C.H., and Taylor, L.L. (2007). Governor's Educator Excellence Grant (GEEG) Program: Year One Evaluation Report. Austin, TX: Texas Education Agency.

Springer, M.G., Podgurksy, M., Lewis, J.L., Ehlert, M.W., Ghosh-Dastidar, B., Gronberg, T.J., Hamilton, L.S., Jansen, D.W., Lopez, O., Patterson, C.H., Stecher, B.M., and Taylor, L.L. (2008). Texas Educator Excellence Grant (TEEG) Program: Year One Evaluation. Nashville, TN: National Center on Performance Incentives.

Springer, M.G., Podgursky, M.J., Lewis, J.L., Ehlert, M., Gronberg, T.J., Hamilton, L.S., Jansen, D.W., Lopez, O.S., Peng, A., Stecher, B., and Taylor, L.L. (2008). Texas Educator Excellence Grant (TEEG) Program: Year Two Evaluation. Nashville, TN: National Center on Performance Incentives.

Working Papers

Ballou, D. (2008). Test Scaling and Value-Added Measurement. NCPI Working Paper Series No. 2008–23. Nashville, TN.

Brown, K. (2009). The Link Between Pensions and Retirement Timing: Lessons from California Teachers. NCPI Conference Paper Series No. 2009–12. Nashville, TN.

Cannon, M. (2007). Pay-for-Performance: New Developments and Issues. NCPI Workingpaper Series No. 2007–05. Nashville, TN.

Clark, R., and Craig, L. (2009). Determinants of the Generosity of Pension Plans for Public School Teachers, 1982 to 2006. NCPI Conference Paper Series No. 2009–05. Nashville, TN.

Costrell, R., and Podgursky, M. (2007). Efficiency and Equity in the Time Pattern of Teacher Pension Benefits: An Analysis of Four State Systems. Working Paper 6. Washington DC: National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research.

DeArmond, M. and Goldhaber, D. (2009). Scrambling the Nest Egg: How well do teachers understand their pensions and what do they think about alternative pension structures? Working Paper 51. Washington DC: National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research

Glewwe, P., Ilias, N., and Kremer, M. (2009). Teacher Incentives in Developing Countries: Recent Experimental Evidence From Kenya. NCPI Working Paper Series. Nashville, TN.

Hannaway, J., and Rotherham, A. (2008). Collective Bargaining in Education and Pay for Performance. NCPI Working Paper Series No. 2008–11. Nashville, TN.

Jacob, B., and Springer, M. (2007). Teacher Attitudes on Pay for Performance: A Pilot Study. NCPI Working Paper Series No. 2007–06. Nashville, TN.

Koedel, C. (2008). Teacher Quality and Dropout Outcomes in a Large, Urban School District. NCPI Working Paper Series No. 2007–04. Nashville, TN.

Koedel, C., and Betts, J. (2007). Re-Examining the Role of Teacher Quality in the Educational Production Function. NCPI Working Paper Series No. 2007–03. Nashville, TN.

Koedel, C., and Betts, J. (2011). Does Student Sorting Invalidate Value-Added Models of Teacher Effectiveness: An Extended Analysis of the Rothstein Critique. Education Finance and Policy, 6 (1): 18–42.

Koppich, J. (2008). Toward a More Comprehensive Model of Teacher Pay. NCPI Working Paper Series No. 2008–06. Nashville, TN.

Kotlikoff, L. (2009). Teacher Retirement Ponzi Schemes. NCPI Conference Paper Series No. 2009–02. Nashville, TN.

Lewis, J., and Springer, M. (2008) Performance Incentives in Texas: Why Schools Chose Not to Participate. NCPI Working Paper Series No. 2008–18. Nashville, TN.

Lockwood, J., and McCaffrey, D. (2008). Exploring Student Teacher Interactions in Longitudinal Data Sets. NCPI Working Paper Series No. 2008–24. Nashville, TN.

McCaffrey, D., Han, B., and Lockwood, J.R. (2008). From Data to Bonuses: a Case Study of the Issues Related to Awarding Teachers Pay on the Basis of Their Students' Progress. NCPI Working Paper Series No. 2008–14. Nashville, TN.

McCaffrey, D., Sass, T., and Lockwood, J (2008). The Intertemporal Stability of Teacher Effect Estimates. NCPI Working Paper Series No. 2008–22. Nashville, TN.

Meyer, R., and Christian, M. (2008). Value-Added and Other Methods for Measuring School Performance: An Analysis of Performance Measurement Strategies in Teacher Incentives Fund Proposals. NCPI Working Paper Series No. 2008–17. Nashville, TN.

Monahan, A. (2009). Legal Limitations on Public Pension Plan Reform. NCPI Conference Paper Series No. 2009–08. Nashville, TN.

Muralidharan, K. and Sundararaman, V. (2008). Teacher Incentives: Lessons From andhra Pradesh, India. NCPI Working Paper Series No. 2008–13. Nashville, TN.

Neal, D. (2008). Designing Incentive Systems for Schools. NCPI Working Paper Series No. 2008–16. Nashville, TN.

Nelson, S. (2008). Performance-Based Pay in the Federal Government. NCPI Working Paper Series No. 2008–05. Nashville, TN.

Ni, S., Podgursky, M., and Ehlert, M. (2009). Teacher Pension Incentives and Labor Market Behavior: Evidence from Missouri Administrative Teacher Data. NCPI Conference Paper Series No. 2009–11. Nashville, TN.

Podgursky, M. (2008). Market-Based Pay Reforms for Public School Teachers. NCPI Working Paper Series No. 2008–07. Nashville, TN.

Podgursky, M., and Springer, M. (2006). Teacher Performance Pay: A Review. NCPI Working Paper Series No. 2006–01. Nashville, TN.

Rothstein, R. (2008). Holding Accountability to Account: How Scholarship and Experience in Other Fields Inform Exploration of Performance Incentives in Education. NCPI Working Paper Series No. 2008–04. Nashville, TN.

Ryan, J. (2008). A Legal Perspective on Performance-Based Pay for Teachers. NCPI Working Paper Series No. 2008–10. Nashville, TN.

Sanders, W., Wright, S.P., Springer, M., and Langevin, W. (2008). Do Teacher Effects Persist When Teachers Move to Schools With Different Socioeconomic Environments? NCPI Working Paper Series No. 2008–20. Nashville, TN.

Smith, E. and Guthrie, J. (2009). Teacher Pension Preferences: Pilot Study Results. NCPI Conference Paper Series No. 2009–14. Nashville, TN.

Springer, M., Ballou, D., and Peng, A. (2008). Impact of the Teacher Advancement Program on Student Test Score Gains: Findings From an Independent Appraisal. NCPI Working Paper Series No. 2008–19. Nashville, TN.

Springer, M.G., and Winters, M.A. (2009). New York City's School-Wide Bonus Pay Program: Early Evidence From a Randomized Trial. NCPI Working Paper Series No. 2009–02. Nashville, TN.

Strauss, R. and Liu, J. (2009). Patterns of Retirement and Return Employment of Pennsylvania's Professional School Personnel: 1984–2005. NCPI Conference Paper Series No. 2009–07. Nashville, TN.

Taylor, L., Springer, M., and Ehlert, M. (2008). Characteristics and Determinants of Teacher-Designed Pay for Performance Plans: Evidence From Evaluations of Texas' Governor's Educator Excellence Grant (GEEG) Program. NCPI Working Paper Series No. 2008–26. Nashville, TN.

Tran, D., and Huang, E. (2009). Early Career Teachers' Perceptions of Traditional Versus Innovative Benefits Packages. NCPI Conference Paper Series No. 2009–15. Nashville, TN.

Vigdor, J. (2008). Teacher Salary Bonuses in North Carolina. NCPI Working Paper Series No. 2008–03. Nashville, TN.

West, M., and Chingos, M. (2008). Teacher Effectiveness, Mobility, and Attrition in Florida: A Descriptive Analysis. NCPI Working Paper Series No. 2008–12. Nashville, TN.

Winters, M., Greene, J., Ritter, G., and Marsh, R. (2008). The Effect of Performance-Pay in Little Rock, Arkansas on Student Achievement. NCPI Working Paper Series No. 2008–02. Nashville, TN.

NCPI Research Briefs

Goldhaber, D. (2008). The Politics of Teacher Pay Reforms. Nashville, TN: National Center on Performance Incentives

Koppich (2008). National Center on Performance Incentives. (2008). Toward a More Comprehensive Model of Teacher Pay. Nashville, TN: National Center on Performance Incentives.

Hansen, J., Podgursky, M., and Costrell, R. (2009). Rethinking Teacher Retirement Benefit Systems. Nashville, TN: National Center on Performance Incentives.

National Center on Performance Incentives. (2008). A Legal Perspective on Differential Pay for Teachers. NCPI Research Brief.

National Center on Performance Incentives. (2008). Characteristics and Determinants of Teacher-Designed Pay for Performance Plans: Evidence From Texas' Governor's Educator Excellence Grant (GEEG) Program. NCPI Research Brief.

National Center on Performance Incentives. (2008). The Design of Schools' Performance Incentive Programs in Texas: Findings From Year One of TEEG. NCPI Research Brief.

National Center on Performance Incentives. (2008). The Design of Schools' Performance Incentive Programs in Texas: Findings From Year One of GEEG. NCPI Research Brief.

National Center on Performance Incentives. (2008). Designing Incentive Systems for Schools. NCPI Research Brief.

National Center on Performance Incentives. (2008). The Effect of Performance-Pay in Little Rock, Arkansas on Student Achievement. NCPI Research Brief.

National Center on Performance Incentives. (2008). Do Teacher Effect Estimates Persist When Teachers Move to Schools With Different Socioeconomic Environments? NCPI Research Brief.

National Center on Performance Incentives. (2008). From Data to Bonuses: a Case Study of the Issues Related to Awarding Teacher Pay on the Basis of Their Students' Performance. NCPI Research Brief.

National Center on Performance Incentives. (2008). Market-Based Pay Reforms for Teachers. NCPI Research Brief.

National Center on Performance Incentives. (2008). Missouri's Teacher Career Ladder Program. NCPI Research Brief.

National Center on Performance Incentives. (2008). Performance Incentives in Texas: Why Schools Chose Not to Participate. NCPI Research Brief.

National Center on Performance Incentives. (2008). Performance-Based Pay in the Federal Government. NCPI Research Brief.

National Center on Performance Incentives. (2008). Teacher Attitudes About Performance Incentives in Texas: Early Reactions to the TEEG Program. NCPI Research Brief.

National Center on Performance Incentives. (2008). Teacher Attitudes About Performance Incentives in Texas: Early Reactions to the GEEG Program. NCPI Research Brief.

National Center on Performance Incentives. (2008). Teacher Attitudes on Pay for Performance: a Pilot Study. NCPI Research Brief.

National Center on Performance Incentives. (2008). Teacher Behaviors and Performance Incentives in Texas: Early Reactions to the GEEG Program. NCPI Research Brief.

National Center on Performance Incentives. (2008). Teacher Effectiveness, Mobility, and Attrition in Florida: a Descriptive Analysis. NCPI Research Brief.

National Center on Performance Incentives. (2008). Teacher Incentives in Developing Countries: Experimental Evidence From India. NCPI Research Brief.

National Center on Performance Incentives. (2008). Teacher Incentives in Developing Countries: Experimental Evidence From Kenya. NCPI Research Brief.

National Center on Performance Incentives. (2006). Teacher Performance Pay: A Review. NCPI Research Brief.

National Center on Performance Incentives. (2008). Teacher Salary Bonuses in North Carolina. NCPI Research Brief.

National Center on Performance Incentives. (2008). Value-Added and Other Methods for Measuring School Performance: An Analysis of Performance Measurement Strategies in Teacher Incentive Fund Proposals. NCPI Research Brief

Other

Ballou, D. (2009). Pensions and Retirement Timing: Lessons from California. 2009 conference rejoinder.

Forman, J. (2009). Comments on Session V: Legal Framework and Governance. 2009 conference rejoinder.

Lamenzo, J. (2009). Teacher Retirement Ponzi Schemes. 2009 conference rejoinder.

Nelson, F. H. (2009). Transform or Tweak: Concerns About the Financial Sustainability and Labor Market Effects of Teacher Retirement Systems. 2009 conference rejoinder.

Quinn, J. (2009). Comments on Session IV: Labor Market Effects. 2009 conference rejoinder.


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