Team Pay for Performance

Experimental Evidence from the Round Rock Pilot Project on Team Incentives

Published In: Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, v. 34, no. 4, Dec. 2012, p. 367-390

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2012

by Matthew G. Springer, John F. Pane, Vi-Nhuan Le, Daniel F. McCaffrey, Susan Freeman Burns, Laura S. Hamilton, Brian M. Stecher

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Education policymakers have shown increased interest in incentive programs for teachers based on the outcomes of their students. This article examines a program in which bonuses were awarded to teams of middle school teachers based on their collective contribution to student test score gains. The study employs a randomized controlled trial to examine effects of the bonus program over the course of an academic year, with the experiment repeated a second year, and finds no significant effects on the achievement of students or the attitudes and practices of teachers. The lack of effects of team-level pay for performance in this study is consistent with other recent experiments studying the short-term effects of bonus awards for individual performance or whole-school performance.

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