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ERIC Number: ED534347
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 247
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1248-2328-7
Teacher Retention: Estimating and Understanding the Effects of Financial Incentives in Denver
Fulbeck, Eleanor Spindler
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Colorado at Boulder
Extensive teacher mobility can undermine policy efforts to develop a high-quality workforce. As one response, policymakers have increasingly championed financial incentives as a way to retain teachers. In January, 2006, Denver Public School District, the Denver Classroom Teachers' Association, and Denver voters approved and funded one of the most prominent alternative teacher compensation reforms in the United States: the "Professional Compensation System for Teachers" ("ProComp"). This dissertation studies ProComp and endeavors to contribute to research on the potential of financial incentives to increase teacher retention. The study draws on panel data and teacher interview data to investigate three inter-related questions: the extent to which ProComp has increased retention rates, the relationship between retention and teacher quality, and the reasons underlying these effects. Beyond the effects observed for schools in the district as a whole, special attention is paid to the effects of ProComp on retention rates at schools that serve high concentrations of poor students--schools where teachers are eligible to receive a financial incentive to stay. Findings suggest teachers do respond to financial incentives, albeit at a seemingly low level. Furthermore, analyses point to a greater impact on retention rates for schools with high ProComp participation and for the high-poverty schools where teachers are eligible for the retention incentive. These gains also appear to be associated with above-average teacher quality, although the direction of this relationship is unknown. Analyses of teacher interview data do not rule out the possibility that some teachers may respond to financial incentives, but these interviews do suggest their responses may be tempered by the importance of non-pecuniary factors. This dissertation is intended to contribute to the slim body of literature about financial incentives as a policy lever to increase teacher retention. While improved retention is not a silver bullet for providing all children with access to high-quality teachers and a better education, it is an important step. Programs such as ProComp and research about its effects contribute valuable insight about the potential of financial incentives to improve retention, particularly at high-poverty schools. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Colorado