Federal Policy

Performance-Based Compensation: Design and Implementation at Six Teacher Incentive Fund Sites

Dr. Jonathan Eckert   |   August 2010

Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Joyce Foundation, this paper presents an analysis of six sites that are implementing teacher and principal compensation reforms under the Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF). Of the six sites studied, four are implementing TAP. Through interviews, focus groups, data analysis and site-based observations, Eckert identified a number of similarities in the design and implementation of these projects. From Eckert’s analysis, these common practices contributed to promising results in these six TIF sites and provide insight for states and districts looking to design effective performance-based compensation systems.

Getting the Facts Straight on the Teacher Incentive Fund

Center for American Progress (CAP)   |   July 2009

This brief addresses common misconceptions about the Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) in order to advocate for the Obama administration's proposal to dramatically increase funding for the program. Topics included are using multiple measures to evaluate teacher effectiveness, promising results of performance-pay initiatives, TIF's emphasis on a comprehensive approach to school reform, the collaboration and support of teachers in the process, and sustaining the systems beyond the life of the grant.

The Widget Effect: Our National Failure to Acknowledge and Act on Differences in Teacher Effectiveness

The New Teacher Project (TNTP)   |   June 2009

This report examines the teacher evaluation systems of 12 diverse districts across Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois and Ohio and concludes that evaluation systems do not provide accurate and credible information about individual teachers' instructional performance. Calling it the "widget effect," The New Teacher Project reveals that the teacher evaluation systems studied treat teachers as interchangeable parts by failing to recognize and address variations in teacher effectiveness. In response, TNTP recommends adopting a comprehensive and integrated performance evaluation system for which evaluators are competently trained and held accountable.

Teacher Incentive Fund Addresses Three Key Issues

Center for American Progress [CAP]   |   June 2009

The article highlights how the Teacher Incentive Fund, a federal program that supports performance-based teacher and principal compensation systems in high-need schools, addresses three critical issues: 1) the way we currently pay teachers does little to attract or retain top talent, particularly in high-poverty schools; 2) federal funding is needed to catalyze changes in compensation for teachers and principals; and 3) evidence shows that pay-for-performance programs can increase teacher retention and improve student achievement. Further, the author notes the Obama administration's proposal to dramatically increase funding for the Teacher Incentive Fund from $97 million this year to $487.3 million in fiscal year 2010 and additional support for the program with $200 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.