Teacher performance pay, administered by the Azim Premji Foundation (a non-governmental organization), provided teachers in government-run primary schools in rural India (grades 1-5) with financial bonus payments for increasing the math and language achievement of their students.
The bonuses were designed to address the inter-related problems of (i) low teacher effort in rural India, such as pervasive absenteeism, and minimal teaching activity even among many of those present; and (ii) low student achievement as reflected, for example, in the finding from an all-India survey of rural households that approximately half of students enrolled in 5th grade cannot read at a 2nd grade level.
Program: A low-cost performance pay program for primary school teachers in rural India, which awards them an annual bonus of about $14 for each percentage point gain in their students’ math and language test scores.
Evaluations Methods: Well-conducted randomized controlled trial (RCT) with a large, representative sample of rural schools in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.
Key Findings: The program produced gains in all four subjects measured (math, language, science, and social studies), increasing the average achievement score by between 6 and 13 percentile points in performance pay schools compared to control schools, over a 2-3 year period.
Other: A study limitation is that schools in the sample were all located in one Indian state. Thus, replication of these findings in a second trial, in another setting, would be desirable to confirm the initial results and establish that they generalize to other settings where the program might be implemented.
Read the full article on teacher performance pay in India at Social Programs That Work
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