Do bonuses affect teacher staffing and student achievement in high poverty schools? Evidence from an incentive for national board certified teachers in Washington State
James Cowan, Dan Goldhaber, American Institutes for Research, United States
Economics of Education Review Volume 65, Number 1, ISSN 0272-7757 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
We study a teacher incentive policy in Washington State that awards a financial bonus to National Board certified teachers in high poverty schools. Using a regression discontinuity design, we find that the bonus policy increased the proportion of certified teachers in bonus-eligible schools by improving hiring, increasing certification rates of incumbent teachers, and reducing turnover. Depending on the method, we estimate that the proportion of NBCTs in treated schools increased by about four to eight percentage points over the first five years of eligibility. However, the improvement in certification rates corresponds to a change of about 0.2–0.3% of a standard deviation in teacher quality per year and we do not find evidence that the bonus resulted in detectible effects on student test achievement.
Cowan, J. & Goldhaber, D. (2018). Do bonuses affect teacher staffing and student achievement in high poverty schools? Evidence from an incentive for national board certified teachers in Washington State. Economics of Education Review, 65(1), 138-152. Elsevier Ltd.