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At a Glance


US Department of Education, National Center for Educational Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Educational Sciences


Vanderbilt University; Chesapeake Research Associates

Project Time Frame:


Press Release



Pay for Performance: Evaluating the Teacher Incentive Fund

Pay for performance for educators continues to attract attention and support. The Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF), a $600 million federal grant program designed to support innovative approaches to reforming teacher pay, supports performance-based teacher and principal compensation to help attract top talent in high-needs schools. Mathematica’s five-year, $7.9 million study for the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences involves a rigorous national evaluation of TIF. The study was mandated by the legislation authorizing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

Created by Congress in 2006, TIF was expanded and supported with ARRA funding in 2009. TIF's goals include reforming teacher and principal compensation to support rewards based on improved student performance; increasing the number of effective teachers teaching poor, minority, and disadvantaged students; and creating sustainable pay-for-performance systems.

Our study is evaluating these performance-based compensation systems to measure issues like student achievement and teacher mobility. The findings will help answer pressing policy questions about how the programs are designed, communicated, and implemented. Partners include Vanderbilt University Peabody College and Chesapeake Research Associates.


"Impacts of Performance Pay Under the Teacher Incentive Fund: Study Design Report" (October 2011)