Teacher Pay for Performance: Experimental Evidence from Nashville's Project on Incentives in Teaching
Matthew Springer, Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Education, Director of the National Center on Performance Incentives Vanderbilt University.
The Project on Incentives in Teaching (POINT) experiment was a three-year experimental study of middle school math teachers and their students and schools. The signature activity of the POINT experiment was the study of the effects on student outcomes of paying teachers bonuses of up to $15,000 per year on the basis of student test-score gains. Teacher volunteers were randomly assigned to either the treatment or control condition for the duration of the study. Treatment condition teachers' bonuses were based on (1) the progress of a teacher's math students over the year as measured by their test-score gains and (2) the progress of a teacher's non-math students over the year as measured by their test score gains. In this paper, we report findings on the impact of the POINT intervention on student achievement as well as teacher behavior and organizational dynamics.
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