Evaluation of the Teacher Incentive Fund: Implementation and Impacts of Pay-for-Performance After Three Years (Executive Summary)

Publisher: Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance
Aug 24, 2016
Alison Wellington, Hanley Chiang, Kristin Hallgren, Cecilia Speroni, Mariesa Herrmann, and Paul Burkander

Key Findings:

  • In 10 evaluation districts that had implemented Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) programs for three years, pay-for-performance had small, positive impacts on students’ math and reading achievement.  
  • Few districts structured pay-for-performance bonuses to align well with TIF grant guidance.
  • Many teachers misunderstood whether they were eligible for performance bonuses or the amount they could earn.
The Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) provides federal grants to support performance-based compensation systems for teachers and principals in high-need schools. This report is part of a national, multiyear evaluation of TIF grants awarded in 2010. The report describes the programs and implementation experiences of all 2010 TIF grantees in the 2013–2014 school year, the third of four years of implementation. For ten evaluation districts that had completed three years of TIF implementation, the report provides an in-depth analysis of TIF implementation and the impacts of pay-for-performance bonuses on educator and student outcomes.