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Title: Transfer Incentives for High-Performing Teachers: Final Results from a Multisite Randomized Experiment

One policy response to the challenge of attracting high-performing teachers to low-achieving schools is offering teachers monetary incentives to transfer. This report examines impacts of transfer incentives including the willingness of teachers to transfer when offered an incentive, teacher retention in the schools to which they transferred, and the impact of transfer incentives on student achievement at low-performing schools. Ten school districts in seven states participated in the random assignment study. The highest-performing teachers in each district those who had raised student achievement year after year as measured by "value added" were offered $20,000 to teach at a lower-performing district school for two years.

The study found that:

  • The transfer incentive successfully attracted high-performing teachers to lower-performing schools and retained them in these schools during the two years.
  • Transfer incentives had a positive impact on math and reading achievement at the elementary school level. These impacts were equivalent to raising achievement by between 4 and 10 percentile points relative to all students in their home state.
  • There was no impact on student achievement at the middle school level in either math or reading.
Online Availability:
Cover Date: November 2013
Web Release: November 6, 2013
Print Release:
Publication #: NCEE 20144003
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Center/Program: NCEE
Type of Product: Evaluation Report
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