News from the Bush School

Incentives Help Retain Teachers, Study Says

November 05, 2009

Two teacher incentive programs – the Governor’s Educator Excellence Grants Program (GEEG) and the Texas Educator Excellence Grant Program (TEEG) – hold promise for reducing teacher turnover, but their effect on student performance is unclear, concludes a study commissioned by the Texas Education Agency. Both three-year programs were designed by teachers. The GEEG distributed $10 million per year in non-competitive federal grants to 99 high-performing campuses serving low-income students, while the TEEG distributed almost $100 million annually to approximately 1,000 schools serving low-income students.

“The absence of impacts on student performance doesn’t necessarily indicate that incentives don’t work, but it does suggest that these programs did not achieve one of their major objectives,” says Lori Taylor, a professor in Texas A&M’s Bush School of Government and Public Service who co-authored the studies, which the TEA published recently.

Fellow Texas A&M professors Dennis Jansen and Timothy Gronberg, who are both in the Economics Department, are co-authors of the TEEG program study. Matthew Springer, director of the National Center on Performance Incentives at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College, was lead author.

Full copies of both reports are also posted at

To discuss the study further, contact Lori Taylor at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or (979) 458-3015 or Kelli Levey at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or (979) 845-4645.