Performance pay produces gains

A new study published by the U.S. Department of Education suggests that there is a relationship between performance pay and student test score gains.

In “Evaluation of the Teacher Incentive Fund: Implementation and Impacts of Pay-for-Performance After Three Years,” researchers from Mathematica Policy Research examined the Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF), a federal program that supported performance-pay compensation in high-need schools.  The concluded,

Pay-for-performance had small, positive impacts on students’ reading and math achievement. After three years of TIF implementation, average student achievement was 1 to 2 percentile points higher in schools that offered pay-for-performance bonuses than in schools that did not. This difference was equivalent to a gain of about four additional weeks of learning.

This is good news, but I still think that the recruitment and retention of high-quality teachers are more compelling reasons to support differentiated pay.

The most recent state budget included a number of performance- and incentive-based pilot programs for educators.

Terry Stoops / Vice President for Research and Director of Education Studies

Terry Stoops is the Vice President for Research and Director of Education Studies at the John Locke Foundation. Before joining the Locke Foundation, he worked as the progra...

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