Skip to Content

Research News at Vanderbilt

Early assessment of NYC’s School-Wide Performance Bonus Program released

Apr. 14, 2009, 10:29 AM | Want more research news? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter »

Early data from a project evaluating the first-year impact of New York City’s performance pay program, the School-Wide Performance Bonus Program (SPBP), finds no discernable impact on student achievement thus far. However, the report’s authors caution that it is too soon to draw any overall conclusions about the program’s impact.

“Our analysis did not reveal a significant impact on student proficiency or school environment. However, it is important to note that this working paper can only address the short-run effects of the program,” report co-author Matthew Springer, director of the National Center on Performance Incentives at Vanderbilt University and a research assistant professor of public policy and education, said. “We anticipate being able to provide more meaningful information about the impact when data become available from the 2008-09 school year.”

Marcus Winters, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, co-authored the paper.

Implemented midway into the 2007-2008 school year, the School-Wide Performance Bonus Program rewards schools for meeting performance targets established under New York City’s progress reports program. The funds are then allocated to teachers and administrators by compensation committees at each school composed of the school principal, an individual appointed by the principal and two staff members.

The new report evaluates the impact of SPBP on student achievement in mathematics during the program’s first year as well as the program’s effect on student, parent and teacher perception of the school’s learning environment.

The report did not find a discernible impact on student academic achievement in mathematics following the first year of a school’s participation in the program. Furthermore, the authors report no significant impact of SPBP on student, parent and teacher perceptions of the school’s learning environment.

“Since the program was not implemented until halfway through the 2007-08 school year, and data for this study come from the 2006-07 and 2007-08 school years, the results of this paper should be treated as a baseline for subsequent analysis of the impact of the SPBP on student outcomes, teacher behavior and schooling practices,” the authors said. “A second-year evaluation of the program, which will provide fuller and more reliable data, is forthcoming.”

For more information on the National Center on Performance Incentives at Vanderbilt University, visit

Media Contact: Melanie Moran, (615) 322-NEWS