The Use of SchoolWide Bonus Incentives on Educational Outcomes
In most public school systems, teacher pay is based solely on level of education and years of teaching experience. Unlike professionals in other fields where performance is a factor in determining compensation, teachers have little economic incentive to strive for results in their work. During the 20072008 academic year, the New York City Department of Education introduced a pilot program whereby teachers at highneeds schools would receive bonuses if their schools reached targeted educational outcomes, as measured by test scores and other factors. This program differs from other incentive programs in that it rewards whole schools for raising overall student achievement, and not individual teachers for the progress that their particular students make. The Capstone team analyzed the impact of the program to determine what effect, if any, schoolwide merit pay has on student performance and school quality.