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ERIC Number: ED509525
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Apr
Pages: 48
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 95
The NYC Teacher Pay-for-Performance Program: Early Evidence from a Randomized Trial. Civic Report No. 56
Springer, Matthew G.; Winters, Marcus A.
Manhattan Institute for Policy Research
Paying teachers varying amounts on the basis of how well their students perform is an idea that has been winning increasing support, both in the United States and abroad, and many school systems have adopted some version of it. Proponents claim that linking teacher pay to student performance is a powerful way to encourage talented and highly motivated people to enter the teaching profession and then to motivate them further inside the classroom. Critics, on the other hand, contend that an extrinsic incentive like bonus pay may have unfortunate consequences, including rivalry instead of cooperation among teachers and excessive focus on the one or two subjects used to measure academic progress. In this paper, a researcher from the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research and another from the National Center on Performance Incentives at Vanderbilt University present evidence on the short-run impact of a group-level incentive pay program operating in the New York City Public School System. The School-Wide Performance Bonus Program (SPBP) is a pay-for-performance program that was implemented in approximately 200 K-12 public schools midway into the 2007-08 school year. Participating schools can earn bonus awards of up to $3,000 per full-time union member working at the school if the school meets performance targets defined by the city's accountability program. This study examines the impact of the SPBP on student outcomes and the school learning environment. More specifically, the study is designed to address three research questions: (1) Did students enrolled in schools eligible for the SPBP perform better on the high-stakes mathematics assessment than students enrolled in schools that were not eligible? (2) Did participating schools with disparate characteristics perform differently from one another? And did subgroups of students in these schools perform differently from one another? (3) Did the SPBP have an impact on students', parents', and teachers' perceptions of the school learning environment or on the quality of a school's instructional program? Overall, the authors found that the SPBP had little to no impact on student proficiency or school environment in its first year. (Contains 13 tables, 2 figures and 30 endnotes.) [This paper was supported, in part, by the National Center on Performance Incentives at Vanderbilt University.]
Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. 52 Vanderbilt Avenue, New York, NY 10017. Tel: 212-599-7000; Fax: 212-599-3494; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education; High Schools; Middle Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Manhattan Institute for Policy Research
Identifiers - Location: New York; United States