Spurred by the federal Race to the Top competition, the state of Tennessee implemented a comprehensive statewide educator evaluation system in 2011. The new system is designed to increase the rigor of evaluations and better differentiate teachers based on performance. The use of more differentiated ratings represents a significant shift in education policy. We merge teacher performance evaluations from the new system with data from post-evaluation teacher surveys to examine the effects of the differentiated ratings on job satisfaction for teachers.
Improving public sector workforce quality is challenging in sectors such as education where worker productivity is difficult to assess and manager incentives are muted by political and bureaucratic constraints. In this paper, we study how providing improved information to principals about teacher effectiveness and encouraging them to use the information in personnel decisions affects the composition of teacher turnovers. Our setting is the Houston Independent School District, which recently implemented a rigorous teacher evaluation system.
Most public school teachers in the United States are enrolled in defined benefit (DB) pension plans. Using administrative micro data from four states, combined with national pension funding data, we show these plans have accumulated substantial unfunded liabilities – effectively debt – owing to previous plan operations. On average across 49 state plans, an amount that exceeds 10 percent of current teachers’ earnings is being set aside to pay for previously-accrued pension liabilities.