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ERIC Number: ED556324
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Feb
Pages: 61
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Increasing Educator Effectiveness: Lessons Learned from Teacher Incentive Fund Sites
Eckert, Jonathan
National Institute for Excellence in Teaching
Created by the U.S. Congress in 2006, the Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) represents the first federal initiative targeted directly at state and district efforts to introduce performance measures into educator compensation. TIF responds to a growing body of evidence that existing pay structures do not respond to labor force realities or adequately compensate the hard work of countless excellent teachers. TIF proponents argue that to attract and retain high quality educators, the teaching profession must recognize and reward teachers who accelerate student learning and those willing to take on the most challenging assignments, rather than basing compensation entirely on years of experience and degrees earned. The first two cohorts of TIF grantees are coming to the end of their grants. Examining five sites that are ending their TIF grants, and four sites that are beginning to implement, observers see commonalities in their use of performance-based compensation systems (PBCS), and in how they align compensation with other aspects of teacher accountability and support. Five themes emerge from the opportunities and challenges at these TIF sites. The following themes include an illustrative example: (1) Rigorous and accurate evaluation must take place in order to provide educators with realistic and meaningful feedback on their performance and a clear path toward improvement; (2) Compensation is a key factor, but must be aligned with other aspects of human capital management to support improvements in instruction; (3) Supporting teachers as individuals as well as teams creates a collaborative environment that emphasizes learning and improvement; (4) Leadership positions with substantial autonomy and additional compensation attract effective educators to high-need schools; and (5) The experiences of schools and districts implementing reforms can have a significant impact on policy at the state and local level. These sites have sparked long overdue experimentation around the introduction of performance measures into educator compensation systems. They illustrate how changes in pay structures and processes, teacher and principal evaluation systems, professional development based on evaluation results, and new data systems to support this work are playing out on the ground in districts and states. Ultimately, these are good investments that should be sustained as they are making a difference in state and local policy, and most importantly, for teaching and learning. The following are appended: (1) Comparison of Features between 9 TIF Sites Studied; (2) Tap Elements of Success; (3) Algiers Charter School Association Principal Evaluation Components; (4) Amphitheater Student Growth Score Measurement; (5) Mission Possible Student Achievement in GCS: Math and Reading Composite Scores; (6) Retention Savings: Mission Possible; (7) Basis of Evaluation and Bonuses in South Carolina TAP Schools; and (8) Evaluation and Performance Compensation in Louisiana TAP Schools.
National Institute for Excellence in Teaching. 1250 Fourth Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401. Tel: 310-570-4860; Fax: 310-570-4863; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET)
Identifiers - Location: Arizona; Indiana; Louisiana; North Carolina; South Carolina; Tennessee; Virginia
What Works Clearinghouse Reviewed: Does Not Meet Evidence Standards