Transfer Incentives Help Bring Highest-Performing Teachers
Contact: Jennifer de Vallance, (202) 484-4692
WASHINGTON, DC—April 3, 2012—By offering $20,000 per teacher, seven school districts piloting a transfer-incentive strategy, known as the Talent Transfer Initiative (TTI), filled 90 percent of their targeted vacancies in hard-to-staff schools with some of the districts’ highest-performing teachers. A new study from Mathematica Policy Research highlights the implementation experience and intermediate impacts of TTI, which is intended to expand disadvantaged students’ access to the most effective teachers. Previous research conducted by Mathematica shows that, on average, low-income middle school students are significantly less likely to have access to the highest-performing teachers. The full report and executive summary are now available.
Funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences, the new study focused on early impacts of TTI on teacher hiring and support as well as on student-assignment practices in the participating schools. The schools came from seven large and diverse districts in Alabama (Mobile County Schools), Arizona (Tucson Unified School District), North Carolina (Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Guilford County Schools and Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools), Tennessee (Knox County Schools) and Texas (Houston Independent School District). The study revealed that:
Steven Glazerman, senior fellow at Mathematica and lead author of the report, said, “Many states and districts are considering transfer incentives as a way to expand struggling students’ access to the most effective teachers. Right now, we know very little about how they work and who might respond to an incentive offer like this. This first report starts to answer questions about who transfers and where they come from, as well as what schools do once they get a transfer teacher through this program.”
In a future report, expected to be released in 2013, Mathematica will estimate the impacts of TTI on student test scores and retention of high-performing teachers. This report will include results from all seven districts participating in this phase of the study as well as from three other districts that were added in 2010 but were not included in the current report (Los Angeles Unified School District, Sacramento City Unified School District and Miami-Dade County Schools).
About Mathematica: Mathematica Policy Research seeks to improve public well-being by conducting studies and assisting clients with program evaluation and policy research, survey design and data collection, research assessment and interpretation, and program performance/data management. Its clients include foundations, federal and state governments, and private-sector and international organizations. The employee-owned company, with offices in Princeton, NJ; Ann Arbor, MI; Cambridge, MA; Chicago, IL; Oakland, CA; and Washington, DC, has conducted some of the most important studies of education, health care, international, disability, family support, employment, nutrition, and early childhood policies and programs.