Implementation and Impacts of Pay-for-Performance Across Four Years

The Institute of Education Sciences has released the fourth and final evaluation report on the Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) grants, which were awarded in 2010 to support performance-based compensation systems for teachers and principals in high-need schools. The report, conducted by IES’ National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (NCEE), provides basic implementation information for all 2010 TIF grantees. It also provides more in-depth implementation and impact information for 10 evaluation districts that agreed to participate in a random assignment study.

The main findings are:

  • For the ten evaluation districts that participated in the random assignment study, pay-for-performance bonuses led to slightly higher student achievement in schools that offered them than in schools that did not. This difference was equivalent to a gain of three to four additional weeks of learning;
  • Implementation was similar across the four years, with most districts implementing at least 3 of the 4 required components for teachers. The four components are: 1) using effectiveness measures of educator performance, 2) offering bonuses based on performance, 3) offering opportunities for additional pay for taking on extra roles and responsibilities, and 4) offering professional development to understand the policy and to support educator improvement.
  • Many 2010 TIF districts reported that sustainability of their program was a major challenge, and slightly fewer than half planned to offer pay-for-performance bonuses after their grant ended.

Recent reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) included a program with similar goals to TIF named the Teacher and School Leader Incentive Program.

See the report at