The National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance
Evaluation of the Teacher Incentive Fund: Implementation and Impacts of Pay-for-Performance After Two Years
The Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) provides grants to support performance-based compensation systems for teachers and principals in high-need schools. The study measures the impact of pay-for-performance bonuses as part of a comprehensive compensation system within a large, multisite random assignment study design. The treatment schools were to fully implement their performance-based compensation system. The control schools were to implement the same performance-based compensation system with one exception—the pay-for-performance bonus component was replaced with a one percent bonus paid to all educators regardless of performance. This second report provides implementation and impact information. Ninety percent of all TIF districts in 2012–2013 reported implementing at least 3 of the 4 required components for teachers, and only about one-half (52 percent) reported implementing all four. This was a slight improvement from the first year of implementation. In a subset of 10 districts participating in the random assignment study, educators understanding of key program components improved during the second year, but many teachers still did not understand that they were eligible for a bonus. The pay-for-performance bonus policy had small, positive impacts on students reading achievement; impacts on students math achievement were not statistically significant but similar in magnitude.