Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Teacher Mobility and Financial Incentives

Extensive teacher mobility can undermine policy efforts to develop a high-quality workforce. In response, policymakers have increasingly championed financial incentives to retain teachers. In 2006, the Denver Public Schools adopted an alternative teacher compensation reform, the Professional Compensation System for Teachers (“ProComp”).

Using longitudinal teacher-level data from 2001–2002 to 2010–2011, this study compares mobility patterns of teachers who received a ProComp incentive with those who did not, with special attention to teacher mobility in high-poverty schools.

Results suggest receiving a ProComp incentive is associated with a significant decrease in the odds of departure. This appears to be driven by a decrease in a teacher’s odds of leaving the district rather than moving to a new school within the district, by voluntary ProComp participants and by teachers who receive incentives that total more than $5,000.

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