Educator Incentives

Featured

For educators and administrators, compensation has traditionally been based on years of service and education level. As part of broader reform efforts, performance-based pay is being adopted in many districts across the United States. RAND research takes a close look at this model and how it affects important outcomes like teaching effectiveness and student achievement.

  • Young male teacher

    Report

    Retirement Benefits and Teacher Retention

    May 2, 2016

    There is little capacity to predict how recent pension reforms and changes to teacher compensation will affect teacher turnover and teacher experience mix—and in turn—potentially impact the cost and efficacy of the public education system. Research using a structural modeling approach may begin to fill that gap.

  • calculus teacher at the chalkboard

    Solution

    Evaluating the Effectiveness of Teacher Pay-for-Performance

    Aug 1, 2013

    RAND's substantial body of work on teacher pay-for-performance provides policymakers with a strong evidence base on the design, implementation, and potential results of pay-for-performance programs.

Explore Pay for Performance in Education

  • A schoolgirl works through a textbook with her teacher in elementary class, in Hexham, Northumberland, photo by SolStock/Getty Images

    Commentary

    What Factors Affecting Retention Matter Most to Teachers?

    Maintaining an adequate supply of teachers is a challenge and an area of significant concern. Rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, a set of interventions developed to target the preferences and expectations of specific groups of teachers is likely to be most effective.

    Apr 5, 2021

  • Two teachers receiving advice, photo by julief514/Getty Images

    Research Brief

    Results from the Intensive Partnerships for Effective Teaching Initiative

    A multiyear effort aimed at increasing students' access to effective teaching failed to achieve its goals for improved student achievement and graduation. However, the participating school districts and charter management organizations did implement better measures of teaching effectiveness.

    Feb 11, 2019

  • Collage of 2018 most popular research images

    Blog

    The Most Popular RAND Research of 2018

    RAND serves as an objective source of facts that help inform the world's most pressing policy debates. When decisions are based on the best evidence, that's when public policy can have a positive impact on people's lives. We're highlighting the 10 research projects that RAND.org readers found most engaging this year.

    Dec 21, 2018

  • Beautiful, Teenagers Only, Student, College Student, Teenage Girls, Mid Adult Women, Young Women, Female, Seminar, Presentation, Back to School, Homework, Speech, Mid Adult, Young Adult, Adult, Teenager, Smiling, Explaining, Talking, Listening, Looking, Studying, Alertness, Teaching, Learning, Beauty, African Ethnicity, Caucasian, Multi-Ethnic Group, Discussion, Curiosity, Variation, Happiness, Friendship, Confidence, Life Events, Education, Technology, Lifestyles, Indoors, Vertical, Cheerful, Teacher, Professor, Instructor, Education Occupation, People, Classroom, School, Lecture Hall, Campus, University, Casual, Teacher addressing class

    Report

    Impacts of the Intensive Partnerships Initiative

    The Intensive Partnerships for Effective Teaching initiative enhanced how teachers are evaluated and improved teacher staffing policies. But it did not lead to gains in student achievement or graduation rates.

    Jun 21, 2018

  • Report

    Report

    'Motivating teachers with incentivised pay and coaching' randomised control trial (ICR trial): Closure report: Understanding factors influencing participant recruitment failure

    After recruitment issues had led to the cancellation of a randomised controlled trial on the impact of incentivised pay on teaching in the UK, RAND Europe conducted a follow-up investigation exploring the reasons behind the recruitment difficulties.

    Feb 5, 2018

  • High school student talking to a teacher near lockers

    Commentary

    The Hidden Costs of Pension Plan Reform

    While there are many policy options that may decrease pension liabilities for Chicago and cities and states in similar situations, some options being considered may also have serious consequences for the public sector workforce, now and in the future.

    May 18, 2016

  • Teacher helping schoolboy.

    Research Brief

    How Different Pension Policies Can Impact Teacher Retention

    A dynamic retention model can help policymakers concerned with mounting pension costs estimate and analyze the relationship between different retirement benefit policies and retention over the career of Chicago public school teachers.

    May 2, 2016

  • Dissertation

    Dissertation

    Three Essays on Education Reform in the United States

    Examines California's state education accountability reform and comprehensive reform to improve teacher and principal talent in high-poverty, low-performing schools.

    Sep 29, 2014

  • Report

    Report

    Evaluating Efforts to Improve School Leadership

    Improving school leadership may improve student outcomes. Evaluation is critical for effective use of resources, but poses challenges to states and districts. Evaluators and policymakers should allow time for improvements to show, use multiple evaluation measures, and interpret findings carefully.

    Oct 4, 2012

  • group of teachers

    Research Brief

    Evaluating Efforts to Improve School Leadership

    Efforts to improve school leadership may improve student outcomes. Evaluation is critical for effective use of resources, but it poses challenges. Evaluators and policymakers should allow time for improvements to show, use multiple evaluation measures, and interpret findings carefully before applying them to others.

    Oct 4, 2012

  • elementary students with teacher

    Brochure

    Focusing on K-12 Education

    In the area of K–12 education, RAND Education partners with policymakers, school systems, practitioners, and other stakeholders to help improve education outcomes and systems and to increase access and equity.

    Sep 4, 2012

  • A principal talking to a student and his parent in her office

    Commentary

    School Principals Respond to Performance-Based Evaluation System

    It's fair to say the program turned out to be an important step for the district in the context of its overall reform plan considering how important high-quality school leadership is for improving teaching and learning, write Laura Hamilton and John Engberg.

    Aug 15, 2012

  • Research Brief

    Research Brief

    Improving School Leadership Through the Pittsburgh Principal Incentive Program

    A RAND Corporation report examines the Pittsburgh Principal Incentive Program's implementation, how principals have responded to the reforms, and what outcomes followed program implementation.

    Jul 2, 2012

  • Report

    Report

    What Are the Effects of Performance-Based Compensation for Principals?

    This study examines the effects of financial incentives for Pittsburgh principals on teacher supervision, student achievement, and gaps between high- and low-achieving students. Findings suggest that the incentives have had positive impacts, however, performance-based compensation requires more scrutiny.

    Jun 25, 2012

  • Research Brief

    Research Brief

    No Evidence That Incentive Pay for Teacher Teams Improves Student Outcomes: Results from a Randomized Trial

    Analysis of an incentive program that paid teachers bonuses based on their students' growth in achievement in mathematics, English language arts, science, and social studies showed no effect on student test scores in any of the subject areas.

    May 30, 2012

  • Teacher helping student with math problem

    Announcement

    American Educational Research Association Honors RAND Research with 'Outstanding Policy Report' Award

    A RAND Education report, A Big Apple for Educators, will receive the first Outstanding Policy Report award from the American Educational Research Association. The report analyzes the Schoolwide Performance Bonus Program.

    Apr 2, 2012

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Do Incentive Pay Programs Affect Teacher Motivation?

    Teacher surveys from three different pay-for-performance programs showed that most teachers did not report their program as motivating. None of the programs changed instruction, increased hours worked or job stress, or damaged collegiality.

    Jan 1, 2012

  • teacher reading with student

    Journal Article

    Can Team Pay for Performance Improve Teacher Practices and Student Outcomes?

    Policymakers have shown increased interest in incentive programs for teachers based on the outcomes of their students. However, evidence shows no significant effects from team-level bonuses on student achievement or teacher practices in the short term.

    Jan 1, 2012

  • Science teacher calling on a student, photo by FatCamera/Getty Images

    Commentary

    The Debate over Teacher Merit Pay: A Freakonomics Quorum

    Motivation alone does not improve schools. Even if incentives inspire staff to improve practices or work together, educators may not have the capacity or resources to bring about improvement, writes Julie Marsh.

    Sep 20, 2011